Aug 27, 2016

Give Me a Prehistoric Man

When I was a kid in the 1960s and 1970s, my church hated "evil-lution" almost as much as Roman Catholics.  It was not only a big lie, it was the source of every modern problem from hippies to homa-sekshuls,

Adam and Eve were the first people created, about 4000 BC.  They moved directly into a technological civilization that ended with Noah's Flood, 2500 BC, and was rebuilt again in time for Abraham, 2200 BC.

So the history of Egypt, Sumeria, China, and India could not have begun before 2500 BC, and there was no prehistory.

Cave men did not exist.  No ancestors of homo sapiens existed.  Any artifacts were from the civilization before the flood.

We were forbidden to learn about, talk about, or think about evolution, lest Satan brainwash us.

I looked up Darwin's Origin of Species in the school library, but was afraid to open it.  What if just reading the words was enough to damn you for eternity?

But reading about prehistoric people was exciting.  There was a little frisson of evil, some apprehension, like an apprentice magician who picks up a book of forbidden spells.

But where else could I see so much beefcake?  Prehistoric people always went shirtless, even in the frigid glacial ice, and they often had bare butts, too.

Remember the song "Prehistoric Man" from On the Town?

Top hats, bow ties -- he simply wore no ties
Bear skin, bear skin, he just sat around in nothing but bear skin
(I really love bear skin.)

More recently I've been studying the Upper Paleolithic Era (50,000 to 10,000 years ago), when our ancestors began to use symbolic communication and live in villages larger than family units.  It's the period of the vast collections of cave art (they probably never actually lived in caves, but just used them for rituals).

Most of the cave art represents animals, but about 10% represent humans, the men with penises, often erect, a homoerotic link from their culture to ours.

They also produced representational art, like this stone phallus.  The standard texts say it's a fertility symbol with no practical use.

I disagree.

I Spend the Night with Fred's Son

Indianapolis, July 2012 

During my last year in Upstate New York, I got an email from my ex-boyfriend Fred: "Guess what -- I just got a job offer in Indianapolis, near your parents!"

"Indianapolis, great!" I shot back.  "What sort of job is it?  Ministerial?"

"I'm the Sub-Secretary of the Social Action Committee for the Disciples of Christ,"

A pro-gay Protestant denomination.

"Handling LGBT issues?"

"No -- I'm not even out at work.  I handle issues regarding the mentally ill and homeless,  But you should see my office -- it looks right out onto Meridian Street!  Will you be coming out for Christmas?  We can celebrate our 32nd anniversary!"

Fred and I met at Christmastime 1979, when I was a sophomore at Augustana College, and he was a ministerial intern at a Methodist church in Rock Island.  We dated for about six months, and then became friends through years of changing jobs, cities, and relationships.

He was with Matt, a Cute Young Thing with a sarcastic wit and a nice butt, and then Jester, a college student with a buffed physique and a gigantic Kovbasa+++, then a series of Cute Young Things.  He worked as a youth pastor, mental health counselor, and homeless advocate in cities all over the map, from Omaha to San Bernadino to Sandusky.  I never knew where the next postcard or email would be coming from.

Time passes.  We hadn't seen each other for about ten years!

I didn't make it to Indianapolis for Christmas, but I did that summer.

The full story, with nude photos and sexual situations, is on Tales of West Hollywood.

Aug 25, 2016

Are Muscles Sexy or Dangerous?

Do you want to kiss this guy or beat him up?

Today I was on the treadmill at the gym, flipping through the channels, when I came across Mark Wahlberg with his shirt off -- always a reason to stop and gawk.  He was talking to a male-female couple, who tell him the various problems they've had on a night out.  Now they just want to go home, and they need his help.

I think the movie was Daddy's Home (2015), with Mark Wahlberg playing the ex-husband who moves in with Sarah (Linda Cardellini) and her new husband Brad (Will Ferrell).

Brad pleads with Mark.  "You're a decent human being," he says, "But your pecs make me want to kill you."


What is going on?  Pecs make you want to smile at him, kiss him, go down on him -- but kill him?

Is this the standard heterosexual man's response to muscles, a violent rage?

I've been around bodybuilders and gym rats for most of my life.  I worked for a bodybuilding magazine.  Muscles were, if not desired, then at least admired, regardlss of sexual orientation.

Of course, that was among fitness enthusiasts.  What about the straight man on the street?

Later I was talking to a former student online, a straight guy, and mentioned that I bench press 300 pounds.  He replied, "I can probably bench press about 150, but I generally go for the knees, groin, and face anyway."

It took me awhile to understand what he meant:

"I can't bench press as much as you, but I can still handle myself in a fight."

He completely misunderstood what I meant.  I mentioned my weight training statistics as an indicator of my ongoing physical attractiveness.  He thought I had mentioned them as an indicator of my fighting prowess.

To gay men, this guy is sexy.  To straight men, he is a threat.

I don't get it.  This guy can probably take care of himself, but he's not the least threatening.  He's smiling, happy, open.  He looks like a cuddler.  I can understand not wanting to kiss him, sort of, but wanting to punch him?

Such a huge gap in worldview is disheartening.

What Do You Have Under the Hood?

Rock Island, August 1977

When I was growing up in Rock Island, most boys were obsessed with being "men," doing exactly what men were supposed to do and nothing else.  The slightest of shifts in your hips as you walked, the most subtle of wrist movements, the tiniest bit of animation in your voice was proof positive that you were not a man at all, but a sissy, a "fag," or a girl.

Even if you got your body gestures, walking, and talking perfected, you could still give away your inner girlishness by not being knowledgeable and enthusiastic about three things: girls, sports, and cars.

The only one I had any hope of accomplishing was cars.

There was no way I was going to kiss and hug girls, sports were too confusing, but I had just got my driver's license, and Mom let me borrow her car sometimes.  Knowing how to fix a car was an attainable goal.  Masculinity within my reach!

The only problem: I was an aesthete, an intellectual, into Renaissance poetry and statues of naked men.  I couldn't tell a hammer from a nail. I got a D- in shop class.  I got carpentry and building toys for Christmas, and left them untouched in their boxes.

The full post, with nude photos, is on Tales of West Hollywood.

Spin and Marty: Summer Camp Boys in Love

In the spring of 1955, William Beaudine began casting an adaptation of the novel Marty Markham, about a wealthy mollycoddle who learns to be a regular fella at summer camp.   When buzz-cut jock Tim Considine auditioned, he was deemed too macho to play Marty, but far too charismatic to pass on, so a minor character in the novel, Spin Evans, was expanded for him.

 Marty was cast with David Stollery, a fey redhead who starred with Tim in Her Twelve Men (1954).

The Adventures of Spin and Marty premiered in November 1955 as a serial segment of Disney’s late-afternoon kiddie show The Mickey Mouse Club.

Though the original novel contains no homoromance, the tough-sissy contrast seems tailor-made for a revival of Tom Brown’s School Days or Cadets on Parade, and the series wastes no time in meeting the beefcake quota, displaying both stars' muscles and the respectable physique of an older boy (Sammy Ogg).  (Kevin Corcoran starred as tagalong annoyance Moochie.)

However, there is no instant camaraderie, no moment of falling in love.  In the first twenty episodes, Spin and Marty despise each other.  They often stare at each other, but they come face-to-face only for pranks, insults, and fights.  Late in the season, as counselors break up their latest fight by holding them upside down, Spin and Marty seem to really see each other for the first time.  Their shield of rage vanishes; they grin, and then laugh, and suddenly, inevitably, they are “together.”

In the remaining episodes, their fellow campers and the adults behave as if they have always been inseparable companions.  Intimacy appears, and passion when each tries to sacrifice himself for the other.  They even achieve homoromantic permanence: in the last scene, as the other campers prepare to go home, they are invited to stay on as ranch hands.

Viewers – grade schoolers and no doubt not a few high schoolers – were mesmerized by this hostility melting into love, and they responded with an urgency unknown in the days of Tom Brown’s School Days.  Books, comics, sheet music, and 45-rpm records flew off the shelves, continuing to evoke the homoromantic Arcadia for two years after the series ended.  Today, when the other live-action segments of The Mickey Mouse Club have faded into obscurity, many Boomers recall Spin and Marty fondly, as icons of their childhood.  Many recall them, clearly and unequivocally, as a gay couple.

In November 1956, Tim Considine and David Stollery returned for The Further Adventures of Spin and Marty.  Now Spin has an impressively tight, hard-lined chest and stomach, while Marty is lean and lanky (and decidedly feminine).  They are on display often and earnestly, as are all of the boys, presented in swimsuit and underwear shots as often as in Toy Soldiers decades later. But their homoromantic idyll is threatened: a girl’s camp has just opened up across the lake, and after some initial hesitation, they spend the series posturing, competing, and arguing over who gets to date Annette Funicello.  Then, when Marty is drowning, Spin rushes to the rescue.  The crisis makes them realize how much they care for each other and they renew their commitment, swearing off trivial distractions like girls.  Homoromance has triumphed.

But not for long.  In The New Adventures of Spin and Marty (November 1958), seventeen-year old Spin is dating Annette, and Marty is dating her fellow Mousketeer Darlene Gillespie.  Whatever passion they once felt for each other has been forgotten; they are not now, nor ever have been, more than buddies.

A fourth season of Spin and Marty was scripted, but never filmed.  Instead Tim Considine went on to star as in a Hardy Boys adaption with Tommy Kirk and Kevin Corcorran. and as the eldest of My Three Sons on television before retiring, and David Stollery left Disneyland to become an automobile designer, and marry once. They still run into each other from time to time, at fan conventions, but they have not stayed in touch.

First Day of Class Beefcake and Bulges

Plains, August 2016

I love the first day of class.  The campus has been mostly deserted all summer, but today it springs to life with thousands of new students and faculty members, dozens of new opportunities.

8:30 am.  Meeting with my new teaching assistant, a tall, buffed former football player who just began grad school.

I can't wait to start sending him on errands.

9:30 am.  Office hours.  I walk out into the hallway to go to the bathroom, and hit a huge crowd of students waiting for the large lecture hall to clear.

I get five smiles and three cruisy eye-crotch-eye looks.

And it gets better from there.

The full post, with nude photos and sexual content, is on Tales of West Hollywood.

Aug 22, 2016

Samson, the Biblical Muscleman

The famous muscleman Samson appears in the Hebrew Bible in Judges 13-16.  His long hair is the source of superhuman strength, allowing him to wreak all sorts of mischief on the evil Philistines.  But Delilah teases the secret out of him and cuts his hair.  The Philistines blind him and put him to work on a giant millstone.  But he regains his strength long enough to pull down the pillars in the Temple of Dagon, killing himself and 3,000 worshippers.

Sounds similar to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Several incidents from Samson's life have inspired artists. Leon Bonnat's Samson's Youth (1891) portrays a young, naked Samson killing a lion with his bare hands.  He will later use the lion's jaw to make up a riddle for the Phillistines.

At Yale University you can see a statue by John Cheere (1709-1787) of Samson getting a...I mean Samson slaying a Phillistine (he really hated them)

Probably the most common subject for artists is the betrayal by Delilah.

Giovanni Francesco Guercino's Samson Captured by the Phillistines (1619) emphasizes his muscular backside, and pushes Delilah over to the side in insignificance.

Samson and Delilah (1609-10), by Peter-Paul Rubens, shows the sleeping muscleman about to get cropped.

Paul-Albert Rouffio, Samson and Delilah (1874) by Paul-Albert Rouffio, shows a long-haired Samson with a smoking body reclining at the feat of Delilah.

Another popular theme is Samson pulling down the pillars at the Temple of Dagon. This statue is in Portugal.

This stylized depiction, with Samson as massive and square-edged as the pillars themselves, is in Ashdod, Israel.

Guido Renni's The Victorious Samson (1609) doesn't show any temples being destroyed.  A rather young, naked Samson is removing the blindfold from his eyes.

The Physique Photographs of Bruce of L.A.

Everyone's heard of Physique Pictorial, the groundbreaking magazine that displayed male semi-nudes in the desolate years before Stonewall.

But Bob Mizer wasn't the only physique photographer selling semi-nudes to gay men.  There was also the legendary Bruce of L.A.

Born Bruce Bellas in Nebraska, he was a high school chemistry teacher in Nebraska before moving to L.A. in 1947.  During the 1950s he began photographing singlet-clad muscle men, publishing first in Physique Pictorial and then his own Today's Man.  His photos were also available by mail order.

Some of his models adopt the standard bodybuilder's flex, but there are also relaxed informal poses, like this older hunk reclining on a table.

He died in 1974, but his influence lives on in the work of artists like Robert Mapplethorpe and Bruce Weber.

12 Disabled Dates and Handicapped Hookups

20% of the population has a disability.  10% has a severe disability, requiring special aids to engage in everyday activities.

10% is a lot.   If you hookup once a week, you'll be going down on five disabled guys in a year.  If you have 10 boyfriends during the course of your life, one of them will probably be disabled.

Most disabled guys don't want to be fetishized, felt sorry for, or complimented on how bravely they have overcome adversity.  They just want to have the things everybody else has: a job, an apartment, friends, boyfriends, and erotic exploration.

Here are 12 disabled dates and handicapped hookups, plus a couple of sausage sightings.

1. Danny from third grade, who I pushed my way into a friendship with in third grade, wore a leg brace.  I ran into him in high school, and was invited to a sleepover at his house.  Nice sausage sighting.

2. Mark, a paraplegic due to a diving accident, was in some of my classes at Augustana.  Nice upper body.

3. Jimmy, the Bodybuilder on Crutches.  When I was in grad school in Bloomington, I started dating Jimmy, a grad student in social work who had cerebral palsy: he had to use crutches to get around, giving him an amazing bodybuilder's physique with 0% body fat.

4. Mario, a very cute deaf leatherman used to be a regular at the Faultline in West Hollywood.  Lane and I had him over for a three-way.

5. Jester, The Blind Guy with the Kovbasa+, who Fred dated after he broke up with Matt.  As a teenager, he tried to commit suicide by shooting himself, but ended up blind instead.

6. Ramon, who had a missing right arm, asked me to go ice skating with him in New York.  I had never been ice skating before.

7. Raphael, Gay Psychic Angel.  In Florida in 2002, an angel showed up at my door to discuss New Age religions.  He did a psychic reading, we kissed, and he gave me his telephone number, but I chickened out.  His arms didn't work; they hung loosely at his side.

8. Ethan, the Boy in the Wheelchair, who I met in Dayton in 2005.  He wanted a bondage scene, which involved tying his hands behind his back and his non-working legs together.

9. Tommy in Dayton.  Another blind guy I dated, who said he could tell someone's penis size by listening to them urinate.  Or you could just feel your way.

10. Andy, who I met at a comic book store on the Plains in 2015, had more severe cerebral palsy than Jimmy: slurred speech, spastic movements.  He had a Daddy fetish, and wanted to rip my clothes off -- not very easy when your hands don't work well.

11. Robert, who I met on the Plains in 2015.  He was deaf but could lip-read, and wanted a S&M scene.  No blindfold, of course.

12. My Mentally Disabled Neighbor, who took me on a date to see Kansas, and then back to his apartment for the "underwear" stuff.

The uncensored post, with nude photos, is on Tales of West Hollywood