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Tuesday, May 01, 2007
GayProf Challenges Me
As part of a progressive-interview sort of thing, GayProf of the Center of Gravitas asked me five questions, to share with the world at large. So here we go:
1. We share a common interest in vintage gay porn/beefcake. Why are you drawn to these images (beyond the obvious fact that it involves men in various states of undress)?
A big part of the appeal to vintage physique and beefcake photography for me is the aesthetic quality of the material. On a fundamental level, I just enjoy looking at pictures of nicely put together men. But there's an historical appeal to this kind of material as well. Before there was really any kind of mass gay media in this or any other country, the physique magazines were around. And it was, basically, understood that the magazines were primarily put out by gay men and for gay men. The magazines and photography, now, represent a link to the times when simply being gay was illegal in every state, a link to and reminder of the difficulties gay men and lesbians have had to overcome. But it's mostly the aesthetics. When I look at gay porn now, what I see is usually either skinny, hairless boys who look barely pubescent, or steroid cases scowling angrily at the camera. I don't find either image erotic. There's a sense of naivete and innocence to physique magazines. Yes, we're being invited to gaze erotically at the subject of the photos, but it never feels exploitative or squalid. The men are fit, but not living caricatures, and they seem dosh-garn happy to be naked or nearly so. It's a much more pleasant and positive portrayal of sexuality than much of what I see today.
2. What is the thing that you miss most about working in a comic shop?
The regular interaction with the sane customers and coworkers is probably the thing I miss most. Actually, it's probably the only thing I miss. I made good friends working in comics retail, hey even made a best friend, but don't tell him I said that. So that part of the experience I don't regret at all. The pay and hours and general frustrations of working retail are not missed one bit, though.
3. Imagine that you finally went on a date with Wildcat (with Pete's blessing). What would it involve?
Well, Ted's pretty much a guy's guy, so I can't imagine that romance or wooing are his strong points. He means well, though, and he tries, so his idea of going out would almost certainly be to a sporting event of some kind, preferably something physical. Boxing, of course, being top of the list. This would be after a steak-and-potatoes type dinner at a restaurant. Nothing fancy, but not a dive either. The end of the evening would almost certainly be drinks out at a bar. And then home for the hot, hot man sex.
4. One of your posts a few months ago detailed your finding a stash of gay porn from a couple of sailors who lived near your childhood home. In retrospect, this was a formative moment for you. What are the questions that you would have for them if you could meet them today?
I'm going to go out on a wild limb and assume you mean this post. That's actually a tough one. There's all sorts of things I'm curious about. Why did they enlist? Was it to prove themselves "real men" or to get away from an intolerable small town or was it just simple patriotism? How did they find one another? The military isn't the most gay friendly employer in the first place, and in the early days of AIDS hysteria it could only have been worse. And when it became clear that, because they were being separated by new postings, how did they react? What did they talk about, that last day they had together before one had to leave?
5. Why do you worship and/or adore GayProf?
What is not to adore? A smart, witty, dashingly handsome man will always attract my attention.