Saturday, August 25, 2007

Hard Corps

I like military men. It may be because of the uniforms or the buff bodies, or just the willingness of some really hunky men to follow orders. I want to tell them, "DROP AND GIVE ME TWENTY!" Now, I don't need to explain twenty of what to you, do I?

I would love to have a boyfriend in the military. They get a lot of mechanical training so they would be great to have around the house to do maintenance work and operate those power tool thingys. I live alone so I would also appreciate the protection they could give me both at home and in public. I'd like to be able to say, "Don't mess with me, my boyfriend kills people."

Join the Navy recruitment posterI not the kind of person that would put pin-up pictures or blatantly erotic art work on their walls, but I found a way to express my affection for the male military figure in a tasteful way. I have about a dozen recruitment posters (including this one) from a period when our "straight" armed forces didn't mind celebrating their homoerotic (hoyay!) tendencies. Beside their visual appeal, the posters show to my guests that I am patriotic, that I support our troops, and that I am likewise looking for a few good men.

I liked this particular one so much I actually got it printed on a sweatshirt. I wore it once into a department store where the clerk complimented the sentiment of the shirt. I told the woman truthfully, I got it because I liked the butt.

Marines in their natural habitatI don't see many real uniformed men very often, but I have it on my to do list to rectify that. Instead of the exotic locales shown in gay travelogues, like Costa Rica, South Africa, or Thailand, I want to vacation at Fayetteville, Norfolk, and San Diego. I'm surprised there aren't already gay tours of these areas. I could see safari-like vehicles circling the area, pointing out sightings of interesting behavior of our fighting forces in their natural habitat (see photo).

USOCloser to home, I thought about volunteering with the USO. There is a station at the Indianapolis Airport where they take care of traveling military personnel. I decided against it because the airport is far from where I live and I figured that the USO is probably too traditional an organization to accept the kind of personal send-off I envisioned giving.

Scenes from Yossi and Jagger

USO photo by derek*b. Some rights reserved.
Other photos from slagheap's Up Close set on Flickr. Some rights reserved. See Flickr photo pages for additional attribution.
No particular sexual orientation is implied for anyone whose image appears on this site. We support gays in the military.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Let's Put On A Show

Overdose on theater and performance arts in Indianapolis during the 10 day binge of IndyFringe starting August 24th. There will be an unbelievable 216 performances of over 40 different productions to choose from. The shows are all a maximum of 60 minutes each and have a $10 admission charge ($7 for students). The whole thing takes place in four theaters (6 stages) in a three block area of the Mass Avenue Arts District. You can easily see several shows in one evening and include dinner and a nightcap all within a short stroll. Please go to the IndyFringe site and check out the details, the schedules, the other entertainment, and everything else you need to know about the festival. I plan to be there for at least six of the days so maybe I will see you there.

Metro Nightclub in IndianapolisThe place to go for drinks in this area is the Metro Nightclub (707 Massachusetts Avenue). It is a two story bar where gay men go to meet friends or make new ones, or just hang out. Downstairs is the kind of place you could easily bring your mother to if you have a mind to do such a thing. Actually, I did bring my mom there once. Upstairs is a nice little store where you can satify your gay paraphernalia needs. See the review at The Guide magazine for a fair description of the place, although the photos are not representative of the clientele at all in my opinion. I've been to Metro hundreds of times so I think I'm qualified to say that.

Brady Quinn no longer in IndianaConcerning Indianapolis men, I was once told by someone in another city that they thought Indianapolis guys had way more attitude than might be justified. I think this is misperception. It's not a case of people acting like their superior; it's an expression of "I'm just as good as you." It's an egalitarian society. I think a person who has been treated like an A-Lister in some other city would be unhappy here because no one would treat them as being better than anyone else. Now, of course, an extremely handsome man would still be eyeballed and fawned over. That's universal.

P.S. From what I can tell, these shows have gay or gay relevant material:
  • Open 24 Hours (a set of short plays that includes the 10 minute play A Gay Thing: A gay man tries to talk his straight buddy out of going gay.)
  • Almost Walking a Straight Line
  • Somewhere in Between
  • Thanks for the Scabies, Jerkface
  • TransActions
  • Gallery

"Hi-Lili, Hi-Lo" from Lili

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Gym Nads

2008 version of the U.S. Mens Gymnastics Championship.
2008 U.S. Olympic team

The athletes of what sport most look like gay adult video stars? Is there any answer other than gymnastics? They move their muscular but lithe bodies from one difficult position to another, grimacing as they stretch and contract their muscle fibers, working toward that climatic moment when they make one final stick of the landing. They pause and hold themselves erect for a moment, as the ecstasy of their achievement courses through their body. Then they smile their puppy dog smile and quickly leave the scene as one of the crew hands them a towel.

Since the headquarters for gymnastics in the U.S. in Indianapolis, I felt I should comment on the men's artistic gymnastics competition at the U.S. 2007 Visa Championships. The men's All-Around concluded August 17th with David Durante as the winner and Guillermo Alvarez a close second. Third was Sho Nakamori, fourth Alexander Artemev, and fifth David Sender. (Looking at the results I wonder if the rest of the world appreciates how "multi-cultural" America really is.)

David Durante using his tongue

David Durante with some tongue action.

package of American gymnast Guillermo Alvarez

Guillermo Alvarez sticks out.

U.S. male gymnast David Sender on the parallel bars

Gymnast David Sender working two poles at once.

I love the form of a male gymnast. They are the perfect travel-size boyfriend. My favorite for awhile has been Raj Bhavsar - I love a guy with a permanent tan. His best performance this year at the championships was 7th on the still rings. I'm also starting to like Guillermo. I read somewhere that he liked a book written by Steve Pinker on the theory of language. For me, that means that I can appreciate Guillermo intellectually as well as aesthetically.

U.S. male gymnast Raj Bhavsar on the pommel horse
Raj Bhavsar manhandles his horse block.

There are two things I don't like about gymnastics. One is that the modern version has gotten too far from its ancient roots. The Greek word gymnos means naked, and this should be considered an essential attribute of the sport. On the other hand, most of the outfits they wear today are so close to nude I can let this one pass. The other problem with the governance of the sport is that it requires gymnasts to be amateurs. I see no reason one they should not be allowed to make some money with some tumbling-for-pay adult video action. If I was covering a gymnastics event for the media, I would ask all of the athletes what their opinion is on these matters. Of course, that is one of several reasons why I am not allowed to be a sports reporter.

The championship will be broadcast on NBC on 9/9. I will be one of the 35% of total viewers that are men (gay). Jonathan Horton, Danell Leyva, and Justin Spring can be viewed there also. In the meanwhile, a good preview of the male gymnasts practicing shirtless can be found here from NBC Sports:

I have posted an after-air commentary (including how many of you searched for David Durante shirtless and Guillermo Alvarez gay) here: link.

One more thing: I read that Blaine Wilson wants to make a comeback. Please, someone make it go away. I have been waiting for years for this albatross around the neck of the American team to pass on and now it still won't go away gracefully. Blaine, I am wishing you straight into the cornfield.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Tripping Your Trouser Trigger

Levi's gay adIt's great that Levi's has a gay ad for their 501s, but this ad has problems. If it's possible you don't know yet, Levi's has a commercial with a straight version and a gay one using the same footage except replacing the female object of flirtation with a guy in the gay one. If you haven't seen the ad yet, see below.

One of the ad's problems is that it doesn't make sense. Who puts their pants on both legs at the same time? Why would he pull them up when he saw it would unleash dungaree destruction? Why didn't he use the phone booth to call his insurance agent?

I've tried to make some sense of it, looking for a deeper layer of substantial meaning. Here is all I could come up with:

gay levi's adLike the narrator of Fight Club realizing he didn't really have his sofa problem handled, the protagonist of this ad becomes distressed inspecting his purchase of 501s, understanding that his carefully ordered, button down and buttoned up world does not satisfy him. The ad takes a dark turn with the pantpulling up pantss becoming his denim Durden, giving him a vision of an extended and violent reality that supports his self destructive behavior. He meets his Helluva Bottom Carter, but the commercial ends before his sex interest can tell him his name is actually Levi.

Other than this problematical story line, the biggest problem I have with this ad is the casting of the guy in the phone booth. The way I see it is that casting for gay roles on television ends up with what some straight guy thinks is the gay ideal. I don't know how they determine what that is, but in this case it looks like the casting process used the box cover of an early 90s gay porn video as their inspiration. Contrast this with print ads from your favorite gay magazines. The people who choose the models for those ads know what they're doing. The guys have the hot looks that sell.

gay dude looking sultryThe Levi's ad team used the same actor for the lead in the straight and gay version, so they cast someone who is just hot in general and for want of a better term, looks "normal". I wish they would have used the same criteria to cast the gay call boy. I want to see guys in gay roles who really look like they would be the center of attention at a gay party and not look like an extra from Boat Trip.

Nevertheless, the gay version is more believable that the straight one. The carefully coiffed star with his boxer briefs and (at first) well designed apartment looks absurd walking with the girl, unless you can imagine they happen to be going together to a male strip club.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Boys Do Fall In Love

Coca Cola 1950 print adThis is one of my favorite old-time print ads. It is a 1950 advertisement for Coca-Cola. I like the setting and the colors of the illustration, but what I really love is the backstory I've created for it.

The kids in the picture are students at a small college in Indiana. Maxine, the girl in the green top, is best friends were her gay buddy Bobby, the boy in the khaki colored shirt. Maxine had decided to try to match up Bobby with Paul (checkered sport coat), the brother of her sorority sister Cynthia (in the blue). Maxine has invited Bobby, Paul, Cynthia, and her other friends Mary Ann (in the pink) and Bess (not visible) to go for a picnic so that she could have Bobby and Paul become better acquainted.

So far this afternoon, the plan is going swimmingly. Bobby and Paul are getting along great, talking about their common interest in art history. As all of the kids finish eating, Bobby tells Paul about how he loves to draw. Paul gets into the cooler to get Bobby a Coke and asks Bobby if Bobby would do a drawing of him. Bobby, perhaps in a Freudian way, exclaims, "I'd love to do you!"

At this moment, Bess is standing in front of the group with her camera to take a picture. She captures the scene seconds after Bobby's exclamation. Bobby realizes his double entendre and smiles sheepishly at Paul. Paul, thinking he'd be happy to be done by Bobby, blushes and averts his eyes downward. He gives the coke bottle an almost imperceptible stroke to let Bobby know that he's okay with the idea. Maxine smiles knowingly, realizing her plan has been a success. Cynthia howls with laughter thinking to herself, "he said draw. Ha-ha-ha." Mary Ann stands back and grins, hoping no one realizes that she has no idea what's going or why she's there.

What happens later on the night of the Homecoming dance, or when Bobby contemplates quitting the glee club to spend more time with Paul? I don't know. You tell me in your belated reply.

Robin Gibb "Boys Do Fall in Love"

The best Coke campaign ever, featuring Joey Diggs' "Always Coca-Cola"

Saturday, August 4, 2007

O Beauteous Desire

Spanish male with beautiful eyesStudies show people have an innate sense of what is a beautiful face. This has been shown with babies (before they may be culturally programmed) and also adults across the globe. There are some faces that people naturally and near universally regard as fitting the definition of "beauty".

Although a face may be described as beautiful, it is not a measurement of the characteristics of the face. While its symmetry can be determined, its length and width measured, the relative proportion of its features calculated, these facts do not equate directly to a level of beauty. The measurement of beauty is the measurement of the reaction of the observer to the subject. Beauty is not a physical characteristic. It is the pleasant feeling that it evokes in the observer.

Swedish man at Stockholm gay prideIf you are out man hunting, you would of course like to cause all kinds of pleasant feelings to occur in the men that see you go by. Now, assuming you don't work the runway as a professional model, you should consider a more important concept that comes into play. The idea is attractiveness, and I mean literally the desire of someone to draw a lot closer to you.

Being attractive to someone is being "their type". While beauty may be a constant, attractiveness is variable. Humans are wonderfully diverse and for almost everyone there's a set of people that get hot and bothered (or at least nicely tepid) when they see them. Of course for some people their set of potential admirers is quite large and for them going cruising is like shooting fish in a barrel. For everybody else it can feel like a crap shoot to find your match. It's akin to finding another gay guy in a sea of straights.

Brazilian manYou may have heard about electronic devices that are programmed to know your traits and the traits you are looking for and alerts you when someone with a similar device that matches your criteria is nearby. I would like to see a sensor that sticks to your groin and causes a signal device around your neck to flash when you have a reaction to someone you're watching. It would make it easier for people to find others whose type they really are.

No matter what difficulties you may have found, remember that once you get below the level of beautiful, it's all about people matching on types, not meeting certain standards on looks. For me, I always tell my friends that someone who I am not attracted to is "not my type." I don't like to use the term "ugly" when referring to people, especially if it concerns traits that are not within their control. I think it would be better to say a person is "beautifully-challenged".

People who are not in the upper echelons of perceived beauty have the great balancer, which is never having to fear or experience losing it. The aged ex-pretty boys disappear or now sit at the far corner of the bar glumly reminiscing about their moment of glory. Everyone else carries on with little impact on their prowling prowess. I think a great shirt for people to wear as they get older would boast "I haven't lost it. I Never Had It!"

photo "Impasse" by Lisandro Moises. Some rights reserved.
photo by Charles Roffey. Some rights reserved.
photo "Giorgio in São Paulo" by Thomas Hobbs. Some rights reserved.

shirtless Gabe from Corbin Fisher
P.S. What's up with all the interest in Gabe from Corbin Fisher? When he's cleaned up in publicity preview shots he looks pretty good, but his nude performance in sex video scenes is not so hot.