Sep 30, 2016

Cruising My Cousin's Son at a Funeral

Garrett, Indiana, July 2002

When I was a kid, we drove from Rock Island to Garrett in northeastern Indiana at least twice a year to visit my parents' family.  But after I moved to West Hollywood, I devoted my trips back to the Midwest to Rock Island and Indianapolis.  I haven't been to Garrett in 20 years.

Maybe I didn't want to come back to the country-western music, red pick up trucks, Republicans, rednecks, fundamentalists, casual racism, and incessant "wife and kids! wife and kids! wife and kids!" heterosexism.  This is what I moved to West Hollywood to escape.

Last time I saw my cousin Annie, she was ten years old.  Now she's 30, a plump hausfrau in a Wal-Mart frock living down the road in Auburn, Indiana.  She says "I haven't seen you for so long!  Are you still a Nazarene?" and introduces her two sons, Paul, aged five (named after my Uncle Paul), and Phil, aged two (named to be alliterative, I guess).  Paul shakes hands solemnly; Phil hides in his mother's arms.

Then her husband, whose name I don't catch: a scary redneck truck driver with an admittedly spectacular basket, but few other attractive traits: a long face, a scraggly beard, and lots of ugly tattoos.

"So, how do you like living in Florida?" Annie asks.  "Do you spend all day at the beach, looking at all the gorgeous people in swimsuits?"

"Not really.  It's like living anywhere else -- I get up, go to work, go to the gym, come home."

"Are you seeing anyone special?"

I'm not going to mention my new boyfriend, Wade the Beach Boy.  I'm not going to come out to a small-town fundamentalist hausfrau married to a scary truck driver.

Indianapolis, September 2016

A funeral.  Annie is 45 years old, with a new husband, a 50-ish chubby guy with a moustache and square workman's hands, and, I assume, the supersized basket she finds attractive.  They sit with her mother and sons.

Paul is 19, a sophomore at Indiana University, taller than me, curly-haired, handsome, with a stunning smile and a big chest and shoulders obvious even in his blue dress shirt.  I wonder if he inherited his father's super-sized basket.

Ok, he's my second cousin, but I can't help cruising him a little.

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

Pietro Boselli: The Engineer Who Became a Model

Extremely attractive men (and women) have constant problems with objectification.  Strangers think that they have the right to walk up to them and grab their butt or feel their biceps. So-called "friends" just want to hang out with them to draw guys' attention in clubs.  They can never tell if a guy is dating them just to brag to his friends about his "conquest."  And they are assumed to be vain, self-absorbed, shallow, and stupid.

Pietro Boselli began modeling professionally at the age of six in his home town of Brescia, Italy.  But when moved to London to go to university (University College of London, Mechanical Engineering with high honors, 2010), he knew that his modeling would detract from his academic achievements.  So gradually he refused assignments, deleted it from his resume, and went into the closet.

He wasn't in the closet for long.  One of his duties as a doctoral student was teaching undergraduates.  In 2013-2014 he taught Modelling & Analysis course, a module of the mathematics class  for second year engineering students.

Uh-oh.  What happens when you google "Pietro Boselli" and "Modelling," hoping to find some of his academic research on the topic?


In 2014, student Ariel Azli found some shirtless photos, and tweeted them along with photos of Pietro teaching his class.  The tweets went viral, and articles like "Hot for the Teacher" and "The World's Sexiest Math Teacher" began to appear.

Resigning himself to his fate -- and anxious to make some extra money to pay his university fees - Pietro signed on with Models 1, and began to get prestigious assignments for  Abercrombie & Fitch, Moschino, Equinox, and Vogue.

Meanwhile he received his Ph.D. in February 2016.

Dr. Boselli worries about what will happen in the future.  How will he be taken seriously at conferences?  How will he be able to get an academic job?

Meanwhile modeling is fun, and you get used to the constant cruising and sexual innuendos.

He hasn't specified a sexual orientation, but he's happy to give interviews to gay magazines, so I'm going to guess straight.

Sep 28, 2016

Farshad's Hookup with Leonardo DiCaprio

Paris, June 2015

I'm in Paris for the first time in eight years, visiting my old haunts and catching up with old friends.  Farshad, the French Moroccan on my Sausage List, and his roommate Michel have me over for dinner.

Farshad is 38 years old, dark-skinned, bearded, with a hairy chest.  More importantly, he's one of the founders of the first gay Muslim organization in France and a member of a gay-friendly masjid.  Michel is a second-generation French Tunisian in his 20s, short, slim, with a smooth chest.

The French are not as star-struck as Americans, so celebrity hookups are not a common dinner-party topic of conversation, but  I mention my relationship with Jimmy the Boy Toy, how my real-life celebrity boyfriend was not famous enough, so I invented a hookup with Gregg Sulkin of the Wizards of Waverly Place.

"Why didn't you tell him Leonardo DiCaprio?"  Farshad asks.  "He's more famous, and more believable.  Tout le monde a été dans son lit. [Everyone has been in his bed.]  Even me."

I nod knowingly.  Leonardo DiCaprio is not only immensely talented, a humanitarian, and a strong ally of the gay community, he's very, very busy.  He has been involved in passionate romances with female supermodels from three continents, yet he still has the time and energy to rack up up gay rumors.  Nearly every guy I know claims to have been with him, or at least to have seen him kissing a bloke at a nightclub.

But Michel is impressed. "You and the star of Titanic!" he exclaims.  "I never knew that.  Did you say  'I'm king of the world!' when you topped him?"

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

Sep 27, 2016

Suske en Wiske: Beefcake and Adventure in Flemish Comics

Suske en Wiske, aka Spike and Suzy, Bob and Bobette, Finn and Fifi, Ze y Maria, Willy and Wanda, and so on, are a pair of adventurers in a long-running comic strip created by Willy Vandersteen in 1945.  There have been 300+ albums to date, plus spin-offs.

For many years they appeared in Tintin Magazine, and comparisons with the Tintin strip are inevitable.

1. Tintin was originally published in French, Suske en Wiske in Flemish.

2. Tintin has a talking dog, Milou (Snowy).  Wiske has a doll, Schanulleke (Muffin), which doesn't talk, unless she is brought to life.

3. Tintin is a young adult, so he travels alone, or with Captain Haddock, a co-adventurer rather than a guardian. Suske and Wiske are in late childhood or early adolescence, so they require adult supervision on their travels:

Wiske's Aunt Sidonia
The befuddled scientist Professor Barabas
The portly comic relief character Ambrose
Muscular superheroic caveman Jethro.

4. Tintin's adventures are mainly naturalistic, with occasionally a bit of science fiction.  Suske and Wiske run the gamut of mystical, paranormal, fantasy, and science fiction.  They travel back in time to ancient Egypt or the Viking era.  They stop a war on the far side of the moon.  They interact with ghosts, dragons, wizards, and fairies.

5. Both Tintin and Suske en Wiske all but eliminate hetero-romance.  Suske and Wiske are platonic friends, and the adults rarely go out on dates or express romantic interest.

6. Tintin has a strong gay subtext, a romance in all but the name between Tintin and Captain Haddock.  I haven't found one in the Suske en Wiske albums that I've read.

But there's lots of beefcake, of a cartoonish sort.

7. Both Tintin and Suske en Wiske have been translated into many languages.  Suske en Wiske is particularly assiduous at translations into Dutch dialects: Brabantian, Dreents, Fries, Groning, Kalmhouts, Limburgish, Tweants.

Admit it: You didn't know there were so many dialects of Dutch.  Actually, there are 18, if you include Afrikaans and Flemish.

8. Both have achieved popularity in media other than comics.  Suske and Wiske have appeared in several movies, with Suske played by David Verbeek, Niels Destadsbader, Joeri Busschots (left), and Guilhermo Appolonio (top photo).  There have been television programs, stage musicals, and video games.

Cosplay is popular.

There are statues of the characters in Antwerp and Middelkerke, and a wall mural in Brussels. They have their own museum in Kalmthout.

9. Tintin has stayed the same age for 60 years, but Suske and Wiske have grown up.

 In 2013, Charel Cambre introduced a spin-off, Amoras, with adult Suske and Wiske going into the future to avert a catastrophe in the present.  Suske pairs up with a girl named Jerusalem.

The adult Suske is a handsome, muscular action hero, but he encounters semi-naked girls and has a hetero-romance.

You get something, you lose something.

Sep 26, 2016

Daniel Boone: a Big Man

Daniel Boone was a man --
He was a big man!

Sounds good so far.  When I was seven or eight years old, I was all for watching tv shows about a man, especially a big man.  Especially a big man who was a "dream come-er true-er."  

But Batman was on the other channel.  No kid in his right mind would pick a cowboy over the Dynamic Duo.  I never saw a single episode of Daniel Boone (1965-70) when it originally aired.

I've seen one since, for research purposes. Not a lot of gay content.  Not a lot of cowboy content, either.

1. Daniel Boone (Fess Parker)  is a family man, with wife and kids.  If you have to be a cowboy, at least hang out with other guys.

2. He has a sidekick anyway, Mingo, one of the least convincing Native Americans on tv, actually played by singer Ed Ames (who, although Jewish, became famous for recording the Chrismas song "Do You Hear What I Hear").

3.  It's not even the Old West.  This is Kentucky during the Revolutionary War.

4. While other cowboys were happily displaying monumental physiques, Fess Parker is kept strictly under wraps.  The only cast member to take his shirt off is Darby Hinton, who plays Daniel's preteen son Israel, and his buddy du jour.

Prior to Daniel, Fess Parker had starred in other Disney productions, notably Davy Crockett, Old Yeller, and The Light in the Forest (ignoring the crush of James Mac Arthur).  Afterwards he retired to run a vineyard and give conservative speeches.

Darby Hinton apparently was the first crush of some gay boys of the Boomer Generation, but he didn't have much of a teen idol career (this photo is from Getty Images, not from a teen magazine).

Post-Daniel, he's best known for the sexploitation Malibu Express (1985), as a Magnum P.I. clone who keeps encountering nude women and swishy gay stereotypes while trying to solve a murder.  At least he looks good semi-nude.

Sep 25, 2016

Dick Sargent's Three-Way with Pat Boone

West Hollywood, March 2003

Conservative superstar Pat Boone, the World's #1 homophobe, had a three-way with Darrin of Bewitched?

I'm back in West Hollywood for a post-Oscar party thrown by Lane and his roommate Randall, 62 years old, but still a hot muscle bear with a pierced penis and a coterie of leather bear, cub, and otter friends.

The conversation moves inevitably toward celebrity hookups, and Randall begins telling the story of how, as an 18 year old in 1958, his friend Dick Sargent (who would star in Bewitched in the 1960s) took him to a gay party in Beverly Hills, where they hooked up with Groucho Marx and Cary Grant.  On the same night, in the same bed.

He's at the part where he and Dick are sitting in a parked car, making out and discussing who's gay in Hollywood.  Sal Mineo.  James Dean.  "Pat Boone. I haven't actually been with him, but I've watched him in action."

"Wait, wait, wait!" someone exclaims.  "Pat Boone is a total homophobe.  He writes books on how to 'be saved from the dangerous homosexual lifestyle.'  Are you trying to tell us that he's gay?"

"According to Dick, he's straight, but open to 'fooling around' with guys," Randall says.  "They shared a teenage fan when they were working on a  movie together."

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