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.

Sep 24, 2016

The Nude African Men Photographed by Louis Agassiz

You know Louis Agassiz (1807-1873) as the geologist who discovered evidence of past ice ages and theorized that the Earth was far older than the 6,000 or so years proposed in the Bible (although he disagreed with Darwin's theory of evolution).  He was a professor at Harvard and a lecturer at Cornell, a scientific superstar of his day, so popular that famous poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow published two poems about him, one on his 50th birthday and one on his death:

Why, when thou hadst read Nature's mysterious manuscript, and then
Wast ready to reveal the truth it bears, Why art thou silent! Why shouldst thou be dead? 

In "The Saturday Club" (1884), Oliver Wendell Holmes reminisced that he was rather a hottie:

The great professor, strong, broad-shouldered, square,
In life's rich noontide, joyous, debonair.

Personally, I don't see the attraction.

He married twice, and had three children.  His second wife was Elizabeth Cabot, a scientist in her own right, who edited his papers and wrote a biography after his death.

During the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake, the statue of Agassiz at Stanford University toppled to the ground and was lodged head-first in concrete.  There's a recreation of it at Richter's Burger Company at Universal Studios Orlando.

Agassiz's reputation has soured today because of his devotion to race science, that defunct 19th century amalgam of imperialism and prejudice that claimed that some races were more physically, emotionally, and spiritually evolved than others (guess which race got to be on top?).

Agassiz even subscribed to the theory of polygenism: the races originated from different pre-human groups, and so were biologically distinct, like separate species.

To help support his theory, in 1850 he arranged for a Z. T. Zealy of Columbia, South Carolina to take photographs of local slaves: nude, full frontal, side, and rear shots.  Fifteen years later, he led an expedition to Brazil, where he photographed more slaves, frontal, side, and rear shots.

Although he disliked black people and "felt physically ill in their presence," Agassiz was delighted by what he interpreted as strong physiological differences that "proved" the two races to b different species with no common ancestor, the black far inferior to the white.

See "Black Bodies, White Science" on the U.S. Slave blog.

Today we look at these photographs with shock that anyone well-trained in the scientific method could have been so wrong, outrage that human beings were degraded in this way, and with a long-overdue erotic appreciation.

These men were strong, handsome, well-endowed, with friends and lovers whose bodies they touched, and who touched them.  From a distance of 160 years, we can look back and appreciate masculine beauty where Agassiz and his audience saw only specimens.

But how are we to know that his audience didn't look at these photographs and see men?

The nude photos are on Tales of West Hollywood.

Pat Boone, Gay Icon

It's hard to imagine, but conservative spokesperson Pat Boone was once an icon for gay kids.  In a 1959 version of the Jules Verne classic Journey to the Center of the Earth, one of a series of adaptions of Jules Verne classics which Disney made during the period, Alec (Boone) journeys into the subterranean world with his geologist uncle, Professor Lindenbrook (James Mason), their guide Hans (Peter Ronson), and a love interest for the professor (Arlene Dahl).

While minimizing plausibility (they encounter giant lizards and the ruins of Atlantis), director Henry Levin maximized beefcake. As the explorers descend, Alec doffs his clothes, and the camera forsakes closeups of his prettyboy face to concentrate on his small, firm biceps and lean, tight chest.

Soon Hans doffs his clothes, too; he is blond and beefy, considerably more defined, a veritable Tarzan.

The men spend the rest of the movie falling into pits, fleeing from lizards, almost suffocating in salt pits, and almost drowning in oceans, and consequently rescuing, grabbing, holding, and comforting each other; Alec is especially likely to require rescue, followed by cradling in Hans' strong arms. When they reach a field of giant mushrooms that will replenish their dwindling food supply, they are so delighted that they break out into a dance while the Professor's love interest stands aside, a spectator only.

Hans is not interested in girls, but Alex has a girlfriend back home, whom he marries in the last frames of the movie.  But after two hours of half-naked men grabbing, holding, and comforting each other, we could put up with a fade-out boy-girl kiss.

In real life, Pat Boone is a conservative Christian who frequently makes homophobic statements, although my friend Randall said that he was "straight but open to suggestions back in the 1950s.

See: Dick Sargent's Hookup with Pat Boone