An Open Letter to Dr. Blair Irvine, of the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program

The famous graphic artist R. Crumb expresses well my sentiments.

October 12, 2020

Dear Dr. Irvine,

Please forgive me for not reading your mind on that cold morning in March, 1971, when the head dolphin trainer at Floridaland, Robert Corbin, introduced us. I’m really, really sorry I said something that upset you so much, but only dolphins and a few other “lower” animals have given me the privilege of mental telepathy with them, and you just weren’t on my short list that morning. What can I say, at this late date, to make it right with you?

I’m sure you have long since forgotten the incident, but I haven’t, not only because you treated me like a non-person, but because you implied I was also very stupid, even though you had only met me for about 2 minutes. Let me jog your memory. You had run out of fish for Simo, the poor dolphin trapped in your worthless circular tank shark experiments. (More on that, and why your reputation is undeserved, later.) So you came down to Floridaland, where I was pursuing a independent study project at New College photographing the dolphins for a proposed book about them. And our paths chanced to cross outside the freezer shack, where Robert kept the fish.

Robert introduced us. I had, of course, heard of the experiment you were conducting for the US Navy at Mote Labs; everybody in town had heard about it, following your efforts to tag dolphins by burning holes in their dorsal fins and affixing plastic plaques, a rather crude and ineffective technique. Robert mentioned that I was a student who was very interested in dolphins. I told you a little bit about my project, and you seemed very enthusiastic about it at first. I remember you — oddly, in view of what happened — actually smiling, but it might just have been indigestion making you wince. A long time has passed, hasn’t it? Far too long for anybody except a real weirdo, like me, to still resent it, but I do.

Those first impressions, they are a bitch, aren’t they? It works both ways, Dr. Irvine. Both ways.

And then you asked the fateful question: “What books have you read?” If I had been able to read your mind then, I would not have given the answer that I did. Please believe me on this, is was the lack of clear, decipherable telepathy with you that ultimately let me down. I failed nobody but myself, there.

The answer I gave you was unfortunately honest, forthright and sincere. “Well, all of John Lilly’s stuff…” I started to say, preparing to explain how New College had a lousy library and it was difficult to get research papers there. But I never got a chance, because, as cold as it was that morning, the air between us froze, and you, in an instant, on a dime, in a New York minute, turned from a friendly, somewhat fatherly researcher with an interest in my work (admittedly a liberal arts approach to dolphins) into a lethal polar bear, moving in for the kill. The smile on your face disappeared, to be replaced in an instant with an expression of profound disgust, as if you had just stepped in dogshit — Great Dane dogshit. Something I’d said had obviously triggered you, and this was decades before pop psychologists began abusing that term. What could it be?

Could the mere mention of Dr. John C. Lilly’s name…? Could it? Really? How misfortunate for me, to mention the ONE NAME that would trigger you that morning! And how doubly misfortunate not to have read your fucking mind before hand, so that I’d be forewarned and not make the one mistake that would send you plunging off the end of the dock, dragging me with you! It was there, in the air over your head, clearly flashing red letters that said WHATEVER YOU DO, DON’T MENTION JOHN C. LILLY’S NAME TO THIS MAN, HE’LL FREAK OUT — and I chose to ignore it. Or I just didn’t see it. I certainly didn’t mean to provoke you, we’d only just met!

When you spoke, even your voice was different. There was an edge of threat or menace in it when you said “That man is either 50 years ahead of his time, or crazy, and most of us think he’s crazy! Good day!” By “us” I took it that you mean marine mammalogists at large — speaking for the community as a whole, I guess you were — and there may also have been something in there about you having worked with him, and that’s how you knew. Then you pivoted on your heel, got in your truck and drove away, and I never even had a chance to finish my sentence.

I will not describe how I felt as you drove away; instead, here are some of the things I thought about you:
• Rude, inconsiderate
• Abusive, abrupt

• Talks down at me, thinks he’s superior

• Explosive intermittent disorder (this is the modern diagnosis, I suffer from it too)

• Intolerant
• Must be hard to work with, being around a person so critical with a hair-trigger temper

• Doesn’t want to listen, close-minded

• Sociopath, only likes people who can help him out• No empathy with others… and so on. This is an incomplete list, but I’m sure you get the general drift.

As a result of that unfortunate meeting, I THOUGHT YOU WERE A REALLY FUCKED-UP PERSON, PERSONALLY, AND THE WAY YOU TREATED ME CAUSED ME TO HATE YOU. And I don’t like to hate things, it’s a waste of energy. But I do hate you, and I find I’ve hated you for 50 fucking years now. That probably says more about me than about you, and I admit I have anger management problems. But since then I’ve learned something important, and puzzling.

Somebody else gave you the same information, and you reacted differently to him than you did to me. So I think I’m justified in asking “What did he do right that I did wrong?” or, “What was the difference in Dr. Blair Irvine’s approach to me and this other person?”

Dr. Randall Wells, as I’m sure you’ve heard, has been an acquaintance of mine since we met in a marine biology class at Riverview High School in Sarasota in 1968 or ’69. I had a lot of social problems in high school, but Randy wasn’t one of them; he was just a nice, affable, intelligent guy, and he didn’t seem to get picked on much, so we talked a bit. Over the years, my esteem for him has only grown, and I now donate monthly a small amount, all I can afford in my current circumstances, to the SDRP, because I know that 90% of that money will go to benefit the dolphins of Sarasota Bay, and the other 10% to buy beer for the boat crew worn-out from chasing, netting, examining and logging them all day. (Just kidding!) So it is Randy’s compassion for the dolphins, and the excellence of his research, his personal friendliness toward me over time and a belief in acting locally, that make me want to donate to the splendid organization that you and Randy created together.

Now, here’s my problem, Dr. Irvine, and it consists of two words you may have heard before: COGNITIVE DISSONANCE.

You see, Randy is an exceptional person, and I do not see him mentoring, or collaborating, or getting papers published, with somebody who was rude to him, browbeat him, talked down to him, insulted his intelligence, and dismissed him with a wave of your hand, all of which you did to me that frosty March morning. When Randy came to you with John C. Lilly’s name on his lips — he proudly displayed a copy of Mind of the Dolphin on the SDRP podcast last week as his first dolphin book — you reacted differently, very differently, to him than you did to me.

Was it the fact that you were renting your house from his folks that made you feel indebted to them and caused you to moderate your self-righteous anger with the lad, or did I see a side of you you don’t show to others in your profession? The sociopathic side, the side that steps on unsung grad students to get research published, the side that curses the dolphins for struggling when you burn holes in their dorsal fins to tag them? The side that decided I WAS A NON-PERSON SO YOU COULD TREAT ME LIKE SHIT THAT MORNING BECAUSE I DIDN’T READ YOUR MIND AND REALIZE, SOMEHOW, BEFORE THE WORDS LEFT MY MOUTH, THAT ME SAYING DR. JOHN C. LILLY’S NAME WOULD TRIGGER YOU INTO A RAGE OF BARELY-CONTROLLED ANGER?

What was it, Dr. Irvine, that made you react differently to Randy than to me? A short-term circumstance, I hope, something like “Sorry, I hadn’t had breakfast that morning,” or “Sorry, I didn’t get laid the night before.” Those would be comprehensible, if not excuses. Something like “My mother died the day before,” that would be an excuse. I don’t know, and for 50 fucking years your behavior toward me that morning has been like a big grub, festering in my brain, and it doesn’t go away, and if it does, I always come back to it eventually.

What you did, I should point out, was also bad news from a scientific point of view. With Randy you were apparently able to hold a polite discussion and explain to him what was wrong with Lilly’s work. He listened, learned, and grew from it. Me, you told to fuck off, and I hate you for it.

So there’s my cognitive dissociation, Dr. Irvine: which human are you? I cannot make the two images align, or even overlap: are you a kind, nuturing scientist that gets along with his colleagues or the rude, abusive (yes, ABUSIVE, when did you stop beating your wife abusive), short-tempered person I encountered that morning? And more importantly, for reasons that apparently have nothing to do with you, WHY ME? When open scientific discussions such as I presumed we were having get SHUT DOWN because someone dropped a name he wasn’t supposed to, that’s not science, that’s prejudice and bigotry. Let me remind you, you never got a chance to explain your POV to me either, and if that wasn’t your fault, it sure as hell wasn’t mine.

So all in all, Dr. Irvine, I don’t think very well of you, but I allow that I might be mistaken, because Dr. Wells likes you, I mean, you are his mentor and everything, and I don’t think, as I have said, Randy would work for very long with somebody who abused him. I am quite confused as to who you really are, and I hope you see fit to clarify the situation for me, as I find it very difficult to go forward with my own work like this, unable to rectify two polar-opposite views of you. So please tell me, if you will, why I saw the unpleasant side of the distinguished scientist that morning, and why Randy did not.

I’ve decided not to critique the famous experiments with Simo that Randy filmed for you, although I will say, in passing, that dolphins do not in nature swim in 6′ deep donut-shaped pools, and any evidence acquired thereby can only be applied to the behavior of dolphins in the wild by a rather thinly stretched interpolation.

In closing, Dr. Irvine, I hope I have expressed myself clearly, and that you now know the reason for my impertinence in mentioning Dr. Lilly’s unspeakable name to you on that sorry morning. It WAS totally my fault that I failed to read your mind, and for that I can only offer sincere, if abject, apologies. Let me finally say to you the words that I have been wanting to say for 50 long, sad years: EAT SHIT AND DIE, YOU WORTHLESS WASTE OF PROTOPLASM! FUCK YOU AND THE HORSE YOU RODE IN ON. I THINK YOU’RE A BUNKO SCIENTIST, AND IF YOU WERE CRUEL TO ME, WHO ELSE WERE YOU CRUEL TO? WHAT OTHER NON-PERSONS DID YOU STEP ON TO GET WHERE YOU ARE? I am sure they remember the encounters, even if you don’t.

Thank you for reading this letter. I will continue to donate to the SDRP because I believe in and trust Randy, not you. I hope I have made myself clear, and have a really fucked-up day.

Most sincerely, Malcolm J. Brenner, author of Wet Goddess: Recollections of a Dolphin Lover and other books.



Yes, friends, it’s true! I must be CRAZY to offer not one, but TWO – COUNT ‘EM, T-W-O – books for this low, low price!

That is, two low, low prices.

Here’s one:

Growing Up in the Orgone Box: Secrets of a Reichian Childhood, normally $6.99, now at 60% DISCOUNT, your price $2.80 through April 30, 2020.

I wrote this book about my childhood, which was weird and horrible for a very, very strange reason: MY PARENTS BELIEVED IN SOMETHING THAT DOESN’T EXIST.

Sound a lot like religion, right? Maybe something especially odd, like Asatru, Scientology or Ten-ri-kiyo?

It was something even worse than that: A PSEUDO-SCIENCE. With the trappings of religion. Especially since the founder, a rogue Austrian psychiatrist and dropout of the Vienna Freudian school named Wilhelm Reich, became, in the eyes of his followers, a martyr to the cause of free investigation. He has the distinction of being the only person I’ve heard of whose books, research, instruments and products were seized by order of a federal judge, transported to an incinerator on Long Island and burned.

Six tons of them. Reich had quite a prodigious output. None of it what anyone who knows what real science is would dare call “science.”

I’m not going to get into any more than this about Reich and his awful legacy. Just read my story and know that in my youth, I not only suffered from a nearly fatally narcissistic mother, but I was sent to one of the most evil men in the North America, if not the world – FOR THERAPY!

Read all about it, what happened to him and the events leading up to my experience with the dolphin, in this book. CAUTION: Harsh language, gross stuff, domestic violence, poop, body-building, masturbation and bestiality are part of the story. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! “Trigger” accusations will be stridently rejected!


Here’s the other:

Wet Goddess: Recollections of a Dolphin Lover, normally $6.99, now at 30% DISCOUNT, your price $5.60 through April 30.

Hey, if you don’t know what this novel is all about, you probably shouldn’t be here, unless you came to learn, then welcome! Enjoy browsing on the foliage, or scenery, as you prefer. Refer to this.

All thanks to Smashwords’ AUTHORS GIVE BACK sale, which has inspired this compassionate, stunning feat of selfless generosity! They are a great outlet for self-published authors whose work’s too hot for Amazon!

The Sex Therapist Show!


About six weeks ago I was contacted by someone with the unlikely name of SunShine McWane, an associate producer for the Dr. Susan Block Show, to ask if I wanted to do a live interview. The podcast has been on the air since 1996 (!), and Dr. Suzy, as she is known, has quite a few listeners in the Los Angeles area.

Of course, ever hopeful to evangelize a greater audience (which, I hasten to add, is hardly a scientific way to do my work, but an effective one given I don’t have the numbers) I said yes.

Thus began the odyssey of SunShine (no, I never did ask why) McWane, who was determined to get a marine biologist on the show to discuss dolphin sex. I warned her.

“The producers of ‘Dolphin Lover’ tried, without success,” I recalled. “They couldn’t get the one they wanted, so my dialogue about that ended up on the cutting room floor.”

SunShine assured me that she was hopeful. Two weeks later, she didn’t sound so positive.

“They’re all so hoity-toity,” she complained. “I never imagined it would be this hard to find someone to go on a podcast and discuss the normal way dolphins have sex!”

I told her that, for what it was worth, with bottlenose dolphins there didn’t seem to be a normal way of having sex. It was made up all the time, with whatever props, objects or beings were available. That made her pause for thought.

“Well, we’ve got to prepare a PowerPoint presentation,” she finally sighed, and we left it at that, although where she was going to find a lot of illustrations was an unresolved problem.

Two days later, SunShine was back on the phone. “Can you do the show tonight? We had a cancellation.”

So I did. Who could turn the poor thing down? But of course there was no time to prepare the PowerPoint, so it would just be 90 minutes… of me. And due to the time difference between here and the West Coast, I would be on at 1:30 on a Sunday morning.

So be it. No sacrifice is too great to benefit the cause of Cetacean Liberation!

When I finally got on the air with Dr. Suzy, I found a rather nice, considerate person who tried to balance her concern for animals who might be the victims of sexual abuse with a realization that my story was quite real and told us a lot, not only about dolphins but about humans. She didn’t try to squelch me, like Bubba the Love Sponge, or make fun of my zoophilia, like Howard Stern. For that I was thankful.

And, as the above recording shows, she actually knows a lot about the situation with dolphins… although she prefers bonobos, those cute little apes who have been known after spats to make up by having sex.

You be the judge.



Y ahora, la versión en español!

Quite some time ago I was contacted by a reporter named Benjamin E. Rosado, who said he was with El Mundo newspaper, Spain. (I mistakenly thought that meant he was writing for El Mundo, but as you shall see, I was wrong. No matter.)

He’d seen an old article about me on the UK site Unilad, which describes itself as “a major youth platform for breaking news and relatable viral content.” What I’m doing there, I’m not sure; I’ve been careful in my dialogues with individuals to make sure they are all 18+. But there’s no accounting for the tastes of editors, except to publishers. And I’m not rich enough to be one of those.

Back to Mr. Rosado. After some fumbling we managed to agree on a date for a Skype interview. His English was pretty good, better than my Spanish at least, and the interview lasted 1.5 hours, which is unusual. He was on a tight deadline so he wrote the story at once and sent it in to the newspaper Cronica, which it turns out is in Argentina! It ran in the Sunday edition as a feature, which figures, since it was what – 10 years old?

And it was a pretty good article despite a couple of errors, like one caused by a comment about time that made Rosado think I was living in Indiana (?). He also had me driving from Washington State to Mississippi to try to rescue Dolly, rather than from Philadelphia, where the car was — but never mind. I have fixed the errors in translation. Despite a certain Latin tendency to melodrama, Mr. Rosado’s article was mostly accurate and, thankfully, non-judgmental. He is to be commended for doing a good job. Muchas graçias, Señor Rosado!



My romance with a dolphin, of which I have written a book.

At first I rejected her, but I ended up falling in love.

The facts are not recent, they happened at the end of 1971, but they have taken on an unexpected meaning under the cover of the new animalistic creed. Let’s start at the end: Malcolm J. Brenner had sex with a dolphin. Then he was 20 years old and the world was not prepared to understand what was going through his mind every time he appeared Dolly, a flirtatious and seductive cetacean from Floridaland. In that natural reserve, now extinct, which occupied several hectares of Sarasota County, tourists could feel the warm embrace of nature. Let’s say, to synthesize, that Brenner was no exception.

It took him more than three decades to gather enough courage to tell his story in a book, Wet Goddess (Diosa Mosada), that in the absence of publishers who were not scandalized with the recreation of underwater scenes he self-published in 2010. Five years later, his romance with Dolly appeared in a short documentary, Dolphin Lover, which caused a sensation at the Slamdance alternative film festival. No one could believe what Brenner confirms to us on the phone from his home in Florida: “We do not practice sex, but in each encounter in the water we made love.” What follows is a confidence, as delusional as tenderly true, of a man marked by an unconventional love affair.

You have to go back to the summer of 1970 to date the crush. At that time, Brenner was a student at New College and accepted the proposal of a writer who prepared a book about Floridaland dolphins. “She asked me to take the pictures to illustrate the volume,” he recalls. “I dreamed of becoming a journalist and I didn’t hesitate for a second.” They rented a boat and toured the reserve until they reached the dolphinarium dock. “I’ve never been so close to a dolphin and I experienced an indescribable feeling.” What Brenner did not imagine is that the Dolly Pizpireta, who celebrated his entry into the water by shaking the fins, would eventually become his lover. “I started rubbing her back and belly, and she seemed to enjoy my touch.”

The courtship lasted several weeks. In the morning Dolly worked as an acrobat in the Floridaland family show in front of crowded crowds of children. She had been trained by the Navy to locate mines and transport spy equipment. Compared to military missions on the open sea, the trick of the hula hoop was a bicoca that provided generous buckets of sardines. In the afternoon, Brenner paid her a visit. “When I got into the water, she approached me without fear and asked for attention. I never fed her, but as time went by, our encounters became more vigorous and intense: when she saw me, she put a belly up to touch her genital cleft.”

At first Brenner resisted. “She reacted to my refusal violently. On one occasion, she tried to masturbate with my foot, but I rejected her proposal,” he confesses to CHRONICLE. “Then she pounced on me and sank me with full weight to the bottom of the dolphinarium. I made it clear that that tactic would not work with me, so she took pains on other types of erotic tricks that ended up conquering me.” As he relates in his book, Dolly was massaging his arms and legs with her fine and pointed teeth. “It was a way of telling me: I am strong but I will not harm you.” By then Brenner had already begun to ask himself some questions. “I suspected there was something different about my sexuality. And, although I was attracted to Dolly, I yearned with all my might to be a normal person.”

That club was not made for him. His parents, devoted followers of Wilhelm Reich and his esoteric theories about orgone, put him in the hands of a psychologist who ended up abusing him. “I don’t know if a zoophile is born or made, but something had to do with the vexations I suffered in the consultation.” His first erection was provided by a dog at the age of 5. “I had gone to the cinema to see The Shaggy Dog and I shuddered to see the effect that the character of Walt Disney caused me.” The defloration came five years later, coinciding with the estrous cycle of Miss Clavel, the family poodle. “She was in heat and I assumed that she wouldn’t mind having sex with me. But I was wrong. It was an embarrassing and unromantic incident. I felt dirty.”

Splashing in the water with Dolly helped him clear his bad conscience. “Zoophilia comes from Greek and means ‘animal lover.’ I am not a goat rapist farmer, but a person capable of experiencing tender and affectionate emotions with animals.” A cloudy morning in 1970 he approached the dolphinarium with the intention of having sex with Dolly. “I tried to penetrate her, but the water was too cold and I was terrified that they could discover us at any moment.”

It took a year for them to consummate their relationship. “I made love with Dolly on my last visit to the park, when their owners decided to sell the land to build homes.”

Brenner took pains in the preliminaries for half an hour. “We practice games and try different positions until finally I managed to break through. Dolly’s vagina was like a sucking valve that caused me a sense of fusion at all levels: emotionally, mentally, physically and even spiritually. I managed to climax almost at the same time that Dolly emitted three groans in increasing cadence, which led me to think that she also reached orgasm. Then she rested her snout on my shoulder and we held each other for several minutes while staring into each other’s eyes.”

Brenner, today single and father of a daughter, fruit of his first marriage, is still excited to remember the outcome of the story. “When I learned that Dolly had died, I drove from Philadelphia to Mississippi to visit the ocean where she spent her last days,” he recalls. “Her coach told me that she had not wanted to eat and that they found her faint at the bottom of one of the tanks. He explained that the dolphin’s breathing is voluntary and that she had let herself die … I think Dolly killed herself for love.” And he says goodbye to the other side of the line: “Please do not describe me as a disturbed or a sexual depraved (person). Talk about a man who fell in love with a non-human person and who only regrets not having spent more time with her.”


With some effort, dolphin-human love story regains its lost “Premium” status


PUNTA GORDA, Fla., USA – “The role of the self-published author is not an easy one,” Malcolm J. Brenner said, sliding onto a dingy leather couch that might have once been white.  “In addition to successfully writing one’s magnum opus, one must also bring it forth into the real world, where it will grow up to compete in a ruthlessly Darwinian struggle for readers and reviewers.”

Brenner sipped iced tea – his habitual summer drink, with the occasional hard cider thrown in for historic, recreational and religious reasons – and relaxed. He had the furrowed brow of a man who has a lot on his mind, and no wonder. He recently finished re-formatting a 113,000-word Microsoft Word file for the ebook version of his most famous, or infamous work, the 2010 autobiographical novel Wet Goddess: Recollections of a Dolphin Lover.

“It’s basically a re-telling of a torrid love affair I had with a female bottlenose dolphin in the summer of 1971,” Brenner explained.  “I just changed the names and a few details so that living people on whom the characters are based couldn’t sue me.  Even though I’m publishing it as a novel, it’s much closer to Tom Wolfe-style ‘new journalism’ than it is to fiction.”

Author Malcolm J. Brenner at home.
Malcolm J. Brenner in his trailer in Punta Gorda, Fla.

An admitted procrastinator since childhood, Brenner said that Smashwords, which publishes and distributes the ebook edition of Wet Goddess, alerted him last November that changes to their Premium Catalogue distribution system might require revising the file, which he first uploaded in 2011.  “I wasn’t clear on the details of what exactly the problem was, but apparently the old file no longer satisfied the new requirements, or so they said,” he said.

The Smashwords Premium Catalog puts the book into the hands of all the large ebook distributors, including iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Scribd, OverDrive, Tolino, Gardners, Odilo, Baker & Taylor Axis 360 and more.  “I’m interested in sharing my experiences with dolphins as widely as possible,” Brenner said.  “They are non-human people, so it behooved me to take care of this update issue sooner or later.”

After receiving warning emails for several months, Brenner finally pulled up his socks and tackled the problem himself.  This versatility, he said, demonstrates the technical virtuosity required of successful self-published authors in the 21st Century.

“If you’re an aspiring author and you’re lucky enough to land an agent or a publisher these days, you can thank a higher power,” Brenner scoffed.  “I knew a controversial book like Wet Goddess would be a hard sell even for a successful author.  I made a few stabs at finding a publisher without success, and an agent took me on for a while.

“She wined and dined me once at a book fair in Tampa, then, with no explanation, stopped communicating.  Months went by with no word.  It was only when I threatened to sue her to recover my manuscript that I learned from an irate family member she was still recovering from a near-fatal car crash months before.

“In publishing, like anywhere else, sometimes shit just happens,” Brenner concluded, with a hint of resignation.  After more rejections, he responded by abandoning the idea of conventional publishing and taking on all the tasks himself.  “It required me to become a jack-of-all trades, but the fact that I don’t get along well with many people actually makes that a good way to work,” Brenner admitted.  “If I work for myself, I may have an asshole for a boss, but at least he understands me.”

Brenner pre-sold copies of Wet Goddess to family and friends to raise funds for the initial press run of 50 copies.  A sympathetic friend contributed necklaces made from fossilized sharks’ teeth as premiums for advance sales.  The worst problems came from trying to get the manuscript proofread before it went to print.

“Don’t get me started,” Brenner fumed.  “I hired a so-called proofreader from a local community college, but she could only proof in academic style!  Book manuscripts require what’s known as Chicago style, and besides, Wet Goddess has a lot of colloquial dialogue in it,” he recalled.  “Every time a redneck character used the word “ain’t,” she flagged it – more than 300 times in the manuscript!  You’d think that if she was professional she’d have called me up and asked me what my intention was, but no.”

As a result of this and other unforeseen difficulties that cost him the original author’s proof copy of his debut novel, the first press run of Wet Goddess shipped with about 250 typos in it, including one whole, and rather crucial, paragraph repeated, Brenner admitted.

“It appears very close to the, uh, shall we say ‘climax’ of the novel, and it was very embarrassing to find it,” he explained.  “I hope I’ve got it stuck back in the right place now.”

For a cover, Brenner was able to rely on the talents of his daughter, Thea Boodhoo, an advertising industry professional and college-trained artist.  “I was going to use a B&W photo of a dolphin that a friend in New Mexico colorized many years ago,” he said, “but Thea thought she could do better, and when I saw her finished work I knew she was right.  I only made a couple of very minor Photoshop changes to the file she handed me to make the title stand out more and add the subtitle.”


A friend who owned a small desktop publishing business referred Brenner to Royal Palm Press, a nearby print-on-demand company, for production services.  “I had no idea what the local reaction to the book would be, so I had a chat with Tom Lewis, the press’s owner at the time, to make sure he wasn’t blindsided,” Brenner said.  “Tom said ‘As long as it’s between consenting adults, that’s fine with me,’ and that was that.”  Brenner also served as his own layout artist, an experience he described as “a mad blur of on-the-job training.”

With book in hand, Brenner ventured onto the soggy ground of marketing.  “Here, I got terrifically lucky,” he said.  “I didn’t have the money to hire a public relations firm to distribute a press release, but I found one that had a reverse-charge policy. The media outlets who received the press releases paid for the service, not me, so my initial publicity was free!”

Upon its release in January 2010, the novel received intense press coverage due to its taboo-shredding themes of interspecies sex, zoophilic love and a dolphin character smart enough to out-think a human.  “For a while it was frantic, but very gratifying,” Brenner recalled.  “I was doing several interviews a week, sometimes two a day.  A few of the interviewers were skeptical or harsh about what they thought might have been going on, but the majority were genuinely curious to know what happened, and to learn more about dolphins.”

Since then, the book has enjoyed sales surges whenever some news gatherer gets curious and wants to know about his experience, Brenner said.  One came in 2011, when a New Zealand TV producer, David Farrier, released a videotaped interview with Brenner he’d recorded the year before.  Others don’t conjure such pleasant memories.  Brenner felt humiliated by shock-jock Howard Stern’s 2015 obsession with his zoophilia, and a 2011 interview with Bubba the Love Sponge cost him a gig with a local slick when its advertisers threatened to withdraw unless the magazine dropped him.

Brenner’s most recent foray into the murky waters of self-promotion was somewhat less melodramatic.  “When I finally got around to looking at the Smashwords file, it said there was a problem with one of the book’s photos, but I couldn’t find it with a self-diagnostic program they offer,” Brenner said.  “So I took a chance and asked Smashwords’ customer service, citing the warning notices they sent me.”

He quickly received a courteous reply from a guy named Kevin, explaining that the problem was probably due to the use of colons in his chapter titles and sub-sections.  “I was glad it was so easily resolved,” Brenner said, “until I downloaded the file onto my computer to make the corrections and realized what a mess it was.”

In the interim between uploading the file in 2011 and downloading it in 2018, Microsoft had changed Word and given it a new file extension, .docx instead of the original .doc.  “That one little ‘x,’ unfortunately, made a hell of a lot of difference,” Brenner said.  “When I had to add a couple of pages to the print manuscript of Wet Goddess, converting the book from the old to the new file format inserted blank spaces more or less at random between paragraphs.  I had to start at the beginning and re-do the whole layout, including throwing in a couple of new photos to fill some yawning blanks.”

The problems with the ebook file were similar.  There, many words were unnecessarily hyphenated, and photos had to be re-aligned to make sure they didn’t obscure the text.  Brenner said the process took him about two weeks, including a couple of days off when he wasn’t feeling well, but he’s glad he did it.

“I don’t have the money to pay somebody else anyway,” he complained, “so I might as well do it myself, because being retired I do have a fair amount of time.  Besides, whenever I master a task like this, I improve my overall word-processing skills, which helps me find work in the freelance job market.”

In the eight years Wet Goddess has been in print, it has sold about 1,500 copies in 18 countries, mostly in the English-speaking world, due to Brenner’s unflagging self-promotion efforts.  When a fan in Russia contacted him  three years ago to inform Brenner he’d undertaken an unauthorized translation, the author responded by granting him permission to publish it there!  “It hasn’t taken off yet, because the translator, Anton River, lives in a very conservative northern city,” Brenner said.  “He’s planning to move to a better climate soon, and I hope he’ll renew his efforts to promote the book when he does.”

In addition to Wet Goddess, Brenner has written and self-published two other books.


Growing Up in the Orgone Box, published in 2014, is an unflinching memoir of his torture and sexual molestation at the hands of Dr. Albert Duvall, an “orgone energy” therapist and close associate of the late Dr. Wilhelm Reich, and the dysfunctional family structure that allowed this to happen.


His 2016 novel Mel-Khyor: An Interstellar Affair is a more light-hearted romp through the mythology and culture of the UFO scene, told from the point of view of a young woman determined to live up to her family’s expectations of her, no matter what it costs her personally.  “There is, again, inter-species sex, but since the other species is bipedal, mostly humanoid and obviously sapient, nobody should blow a 50 amp fuse over it,” Brenner said.  “After all, ‘Star Trek,’ Edgar Rice Burroughs and countless other science-fiction writers have only been doing it for about 100 years.”

Sales on these two books have been nowhere near those of Wet Goddess, Brenner said, and he’s had difficulty getting them any kind of publicity or reviews.  “That’s because, while they’re both sexually radical books, they’re not as radical as a man and a dolphin making love,” he said.  “Somehow, that just blows people’s minds.”

Having just turned 67, Brenner hopes to see his work more widely appreciated before he dies.  Asked if he thought his writing would endure beyond his lifespan, he waxed philosophical.

“My daughter might take it on, but she’s not planning to have children, so who knows what will happen over the course of time?  We only know of the Greek poet Sappho’s beautiful writing because it was used to wrap fish,” he noted.

“Let us remember that from the point of view of a book, which may endure for millennia if it’s an epic, humans are fleeting things who read it at some point in their limited lifespans, devoting to it some portion of their precious time,” Brenner said, drawing on an eerie theme reminiscent of the ambiguous Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges.  “For this reason, books, especially long-lived books like Epic of Gilgamesh, Tao De Ching and Cattle Raid of Ulster, are grateful for the time their readers spend with them.  The books try to compensate the readers through a symbiotic relationship that informs you with a novel set of ideas, or supports your need for entertainment that doesn’t require batteries, WiFi or 3D glasses.

“I think that we humans, as a species, have a lot to learn from our dolphin cousins,” Brenner concluded.  “As for my writings, they will survive if people find value in them.”



“Orgone Box” now an e-book

Malcolm Brenner’s memoir of psychiatric sexual abuse and a dysfunctional family, “Growing Up In The Orgone Box: Secrets of a Reichian Childhood,” is now available as an e-book on Smashwords under the “Adult Content” listing.

“I suffered physical, sexual and emotional abuse at the hands of a sadistic pervert, Dr. Albert Duvall, who was appointed by Wilhelm Reich to practice his bogus ‘orgone therapy’ on innocent children like myself,” Brenner said. “My family poured thousands of dollars into this quackery on the basis that it would make us have better orgasms and be better people, but to this day I am filled with rage at what happened to me, and to hundreds of other unfortunate children.”

Duvall is the same psychiatrist whom entertainer Lorna Luft wrote about in her autobiography, “Me And My Shadows.”  Luft is the daughter of actress Judy Garland.

“This type of abuse is typical of ‘true believers,’ whatever their belief system is,” Brenner said.  “One of the characteristics of the children who were molested by Duvall is that we all tried to tell our parents what was going on in his locked, soundproof office, and none of them listened to us.”

Duvall, who died in 1979, was never accused, charged or punished for his crimes.

“I hope ‘Orgone Box’ sets the record straight about Wilhelm Reich’s nonsensical beliefs and Duvall’s sadism toward his patients,” Brenner said.  “The publication of this e-book makes my story available to more people, particularly in Europe, where Reich’s work remains popular, for some unfathomable reason.”