Oct 22, 2016

The Boys of Lassie 2: Tommy Rettig

A major child star of the 1950s era, Tommy Rettig appeared alongside some of the greats of cinema, including Jimmy Stuart (Jackpot), Mickey Rooney (The Strip), Eve Arden (The Lady Wants Mink), Marilyn Monroe (The River of No Return), and Van Heflin (The Raid). His heroism and frequent shirtless shots made him the first crush of many gay Boomer boys. Boomer boys.

Years before Jon Provost created the iconic Lassie image of cherubic blond boy in need of constant saving, 14-year old Tommy started hanging out with the collie (1954-57).  Jeff Miller (Tommy) was a slim, handsome teenager who didn't fall into many wells; instead, his plotlines often involved school, friends, and sports. He was the first crush of many gay Boomer boys.

Other than  was most famous for the surreal 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T (1953), in which evil piano teacher Dr. T (Hans Conreid) plans to marry the unsuspecting mom of Bartholomew Collins (Tommy), and has the ultimate plot of forcing 500 boys to play his gigantic piano.  Bartholomew and the heroic plumber, Mr. Zabladowski (Peter Lind Hayes) work together to save them both.  It was an early protest against conformity, including heterosexist marriage-and-children.

Like Jon Provost, Tommy found his post-Lassie acting career complicated by type-casting.  He guest-starred in many tv series, including Wagon Train, Death Valley Days, Mr. Novak, The Fugitive, and The Little Hobo.  He starred in the teen soap Never Too Young as Tony Dow's best friend JoJo (1966). But by the late 1960s, even bit parts dried up.

In the 1970s he tried several careers, including marijuana farming, before finding his niche as a computer database specialist, creating important innovations in DBase and FoxPro.  He died in 1996.

Oct 21, 2016

Why Do Gay Men Like "The Rocky Horror Picture Show"?

"Like" is too weak a term.  To gay men of a certain age, it is the movie.  It is more than a movie, it is salvation.

They don't attend the audience-participation midnight showings, with young oddballs throwing toast and rice, yelling nasty, often homophobic lines at the screen, and cheering when the "Frank the Fag" is killed.  They watch on VHS, alone, a private communion.

 Gay empowerment was not at all what Richard O'Brien intended when he wrote the script of a science fiction-horror musical comedy pastiche.  And it requires you to overlook or excuse quite a lot:

Frank N Furter is a villain!  He keeps Brad and Janet prisoner, turns them to stone with his Medusa ray, brutally beats his servants, kills Eddie and then serves him to his guests for dinner!  That's not just villainous, it's psycho-killer!

And what do you make of the song "Superhero", which Brad and Janet sing in the wreckage of Frank's lab at the end of the movie:

Superheroes come to feast, to taste the flesh not yet deceased
And all I know, is still the beast is feeding.

Not exactly uplifting, is it?

There's no one gay in the film.  The male characters are all bisexual, capable of sexual relations with men and women both, and the female characters are all heterosexual.

The main sexual awakening isn't same-sex, it's Rocky and Janet.

The "don't dream it, be it" scene in the pool isn't gay, it's a pansexual orgy, while Frank is floating on a life preserver from the Titanic.

That pink triangle on Frank's lab coat was not intended to be a gay symbol.  It just happened to be on the coat they bought for a prop.

So how did gay men of a certain age get around all that?

1. They didn't notice Frank's villainy.  All gay and bi men in the mass media of the era were villains, usually psycho killers.  It was business as usual.  They  simply didn't notice.

Instead, they remembered the scenes where Frank becomes a sympathetic character, longing for home:

I see blue skies through the tears in my eyes,
When I realize, I'm going home.

Telling about his first drag dreams:

Whatever happened to Fay Wray, that exquisite, satin-draped frame?
As it clung to her thigh, how I started to cry, 'cause I wanted to be dressed just the same.

2. There was same-sex desire!  Even the gay men in the mass media of the era never expressed same-sex desire.  Gay meant feminine and not interested in women, period.  You never saw a gay man with a boyfriend except Jodie in Soap, who was planning a sex change to become a woman for him.

Then Frank belts out:

A deltoid, and a tricep, a hot groin and a bicep
Makes me shake, makes me want to take Charles Atlas by the....hand.

3. There were penises!

You rarely saw men shirtless in movies of the 1970s, and costumers tried their best to remove all hints of a bulge.  But Rocky and Brad are both half-naked most of the time, in extremely bulgeworthy outfits.  Male beauty was celebrated, not erased.

4. There was transformation.

I feel released
Bad times deceased
My confidence has increased
Reality is here

After years and decades of being told, over and over, that he, like every man who had ever lived and who ever would live, longed for women and shuned the touch of men, that same-sex desire did not and could not exist, he heard Frank sing:

Don't dream it, be it.  Don't dream it, be it.  Don't dream it, be it.

He left the theater with tears streaming down his face, transformed, literally saved.

I was lost, but now I'm found.  Was blind, but now I see

Oct 20, 2016

Yuri's Sausage List: 20 Super-Sized Boyfriends, Hookups, and Dates

Lots of guys like big ones, but Yuri likes them enormous.  If it's not a Mortadella+, he throws them back.

Maybe that's why he hasn't had a lot of long-term boyfriends.  It's hard to find a guy that size who is into you, and who you are compatible with.

I asked him for a list of the most super-sized boyfriends, dates, and hookups he can remember. They have to be someone that he socialized with, no bathhouse hookups or sausage sightings at the gym.

Since we lived together and shared frequently, there's a lot of overlap with my sausage list, but a lot was surprising. 7 Kovbasa or bigger, including 1 Kovbasa++++++ (in case you're keeping track, that's 13 inches!).


Yuri was born in 1974 in Volgograd in southern Russia, about 120 miles west of the Kazakh SSR.  His father was a chemistry teacher, and his mother worked in a factory.  One of his grandfathers was a Kazakh from Astrakhan.

The Kazakh wrestler.  In 1988, when he was 14 years old, Yuri visited his cousins and went to a traditional Kazakh wrestling match.  He had his first sexual experience with one of the wrestlers. Probably a Kovbasa.

Sergeant Andreivich.   In 1992, Yuri graduated from the gymnazia and joined the army.  He began a relationship with Sgt. Andreivich, a middle-aged career soldier with a beard and a hairy chest.  It only lasted a few weeks before Yuri was discharged for having a "psychological deviation. Kielbasa.

St Petersburg

In the fall of 1992, Yuri enrolled in a five-year degree program in geology at St. Petersburg State University.  He had a few sexual experiences, usually with older guys with wives and kids, but didn't think of himself as gay. It was just "guys fooling around."

Pyotr from Mongolia.  A student in Yuri's physics class, the first young guy he had ever been with.  Not actually from Mongolia, from Irkutsk, near Lake Baikal.  Mortadella+

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