Aug 8, 2015

10,000 Naked Men, Part 2: Kilts to Pairs

I'm reviewing my collection of 9,248 pictures of men collected from 20 years of internet bulletin boards and blogs.

Last time: Asian to Hung.

Kilts.  Several dozen photos, both posed and candid, demonstrating that Scottish guys go commando under their kilts.

Latino.  Men from Latin America, or Hispanic men in the United States. They can be of any race. This guy from Mexico City has been reading Garfield before demonstrating his Kovbasa+.

Matadors.  I think the enormous bulges are part of the costume, symbolic of the matador's virility and power.  I also have some where the bull's horns have ripped open the costume, leaving the penis exposed.  It's not spectacular.

Middle East.  Arabs, Turks, Persians, and Israelis.  Bedouins a plus.  And a Kurdish guy with the most enormous Kovbasa+++.

The problem is always where to classify.  This guy could easily fit into Muscle and Outdoor as well.  I downloaded a program to find duplicates.

Military, Police, and Guards.  Men in uniform, including border and castle guards, hot cops from various countries, and cute soldiers taking selfies.  They can't get too far out of uniform, or you can't tell that they're military.

Muscle.  Most of the guys in the collection are muscular, but this folder is reserved for the ones who stand out as particularly buffed, and don't fit into any of the other categories.

I like the messy room.  He decided to take a selfie in the midst of doing laundry.

Nerds.  You know you're a nerd when you spend more time trying to see what book he's reading than looking at his penis.  Guys wearing glasses or bow ties, reading books, or doing science fiction or superhero cosplay.

Old Guys, Chubs, and Bears.  Guys of the more mature persuasion, of heftier girth, or with an exceptionally hairy chest.  It's surprising how often all three come together.  This guy has only two of the three qualities, but he has a nice smile.

Orcs and Other Fantasy Beings.  It started with Orcs -- who would have thought that some guys find Tolkien's baddies sexy?  Here's a very well endowed Orc captured and forced to carry heavy weights around.  The folder also contains elves, dwarfs, hobbits, fairies, goblins, angels, demons, and furries (animal people).

Outdoors.  Guys at festivals, nude beaches, nude bike races, or just displaying their goods in public places, like this Hungarian maintenance man.

Pairs.  I'm not big into action shots, but I like pairs of guys, brothers, friends, or lovers, kissing, hugging, or just hanging out side by side.

Next:Punks through Urinals

See also: 10,000 Naked Men, Part 1: Asian through Hung.
10,000 Naked Men, Part 3: Punks to Urinals.

One Day at a Time

Why would gay teenage boys like One Day at a Time (1975-1984), the sitcom about Indianapolis divorcee Ann Romano (Bonnie Franklin) and her two teenage daughters?  Sure, it was hip and "with it," one of the stable of realistic comedy-dramas that Norman Lear trotted out -- All in the Family, The Boomerersons, Sanford and Son, Alice, Maude -- for audiences sick of 1960s fantasy and hillbilly fare.

But there were no gay characters.  No "mistaken for gay" episodes.  No episodes where regulars discover that their brother/college buddy/coworker/coach is gay -- even Alice had one of those.  For all its hipness, nothing but weeks and months and years of dreary heteronormativity.

So what was the attraction?

1. The endless parade of boyfriends.  Practically every hunk in Hollywood over age 30 played one of Ms. Romano's beaus, and practically every Tiger Beat fave rave guest starred as Barbara or Julie's dates.  Two long-running teen dreams were Chuck (William Kirby Cullen) for Julie:

And Cliff (Scott Colomby) for Barbara (standing next to competition John Putch).  Colomby later played the slim, androgynous Tony in Caddyshack.

Eventually Julie married the hunky Max Horvath (Michael Lembeck, center), and Barbara married stick-in-the-mud Mark Royer (Boyd Gaines, left)

2. In 1980, after Ann's boyfriend dies, she adopts his 14-year old son, Alex Handris (Glenn Scarpelli).  Usually end-of-series cast additions are a disaster, but Alex brought wit, style, and humor to the doddering series.

And a decided lack of interest in girls, in spite of the "I'm so into girls!" lines that the scripts made him say.

Glenn Scarpelli came out a few years after the show ended.  Today he runs a public tv station in Sedona, Arizona with partner Jude Belanger. He also seems to have joined a gym:

Aug 7, 2015

The Finnish Sauna Championships

Today every health club has a sauna, a little wooden room where the temperature is high so you can sit around naked, sweating in either wet or dry heat, with relaxation and maybe other benefits.

It's a standard part of many workout routines (pictured: Russian bodybuilder Mikhail Sidorykov).

Sometimes guys like to do things in saunas, but I don't understand the attraction.  Why would you want to touch someone who's covered with sweat?

But the nudity is nice.  Where else can you get a good, long look at naked men sitting still?  (The shy wear swimsuits or cover their privates with willow branches.)

Finland has more public penises than any other country in the world, except maybe Bhutan, so it makes sense that the sauna originated there (it even plays a role in the first Finnish novel, Seven Brothers.)

 Almost every house has one -- there are 2 million saunas for a population of 5 million, and a Finnish Sauna Society with 4200 members.
Entire families or groups of friends go in at once for bouts of naked sweating, preferably accompanied by hitting yourself with a willow switch, and followed by running naked through the snow to cool off (or a cold swimming pool, if no snow is available).

Finnish saunas are generally hotter than the American versions, and you stay in longer, up to thirty minutes.

Beginning in 1999, World Sauna Championships were held in Heinola, Finland, about 1 1/2 hours north of Helsinki.   Contestants from over 20 countries facing an incredibly high starting temperature of 230 F.  Rounds typically lasted less than 3 minutes.

Can you imagine anything more dangerous?

Amazingly, the championships continued annually for 10 years without incident.

Then, in 2010, two contestants passed out after 6 minutes in the sauna.  Vladimir Ladyzhensky died, and Timo Kaukonen was hospitalized with burns over 70% of his body.

The city of Heinola will not be holding championships in the future.

The sauna remains an integral part of Finnish culture.  But most Finns know how to handle heat with care.

See also: The Top Public Penises of Finland and The Garden of Gay Dreams and Nightmares.

Aug 2, 2015

The Top 10 Public Penises of Estonia

Summertime in Estonia means guys taking their shirts off, to work wrestle, jump over bonfires, hang out on the beach, or cruise.

If you're there at another time of the year, don't worry -- there's lots of public penises.

1. To start out, about a dozen naked statues of Kalevipoeg, the national hero.

2. The paintings of Lembit Sarapuu  and Kristjan Raud

3. The Linnahall, a concert and sports venue in Tallinn (some of the events of the 1980 Moscow Olympics were held there.)  I'm not big on sports, but notice the muscular nude bodies on the mural on the proscenium.

This is the whole thing.

4. It was painted by Enn Põldroos, an artist and novelist who specializes in large-scale murals, mostly with muscular, nude men, sometimes with women.  Here's his mural for the National Library of Estonia.  Makes me want to read.

5. There are more nude men over the elevator.

6. In Tartu, you can see this very strange sculpture. a self-portrait of artist Ülo Õun and his 18-month old son.  Except the son is adult-sized. It's to commemorate Child Protection Day.

7. They're not nude, but this Tartu sculpture by Tiiu Kirsipuu imagines that gay playwright Oscar Wilde and Estonian writer Eduard Vilde got together for a chat around 1890.

8. This statue of Martin Klein, outside the Sports Center in Viljandi, seems to be lacking a penis, but it's amazing that he was sculpted nude at all. He was an Estonian wrestler who won the longest match ever recorded, 11 hours and 40 minutes, at the Stockholm Olympics 1912.

9. Suure-Kõpu Manor, near Viljandi, features this mural of a naked lady terrorizing a muscular centaur.  I don't know the myth it's referring to.

10.Kadriorg Palace and Park in Tallinn has some nice Baroque sculptures, like this Neptune fountain.

Sal Mineo: The First Gay Teen Idol

I saw Sal Mineo for the first time on January 2nd, 1971, on an episode of My Three Sons. His character, Jim Bell, tries to convince college-age Robbie Douglas (Don Grady) to run away with him for a life of freedom and adventure.

Since I was already convinced that Robbie liked boys, not girls, in spite of his marriage to Katie (Tina Cole), it was easy to see Robbie trying to choose between heterosexist "normalcy" and embracing the wild passionate love of men for men.

But I didn't realize at the time that Sal Mineo was gay in real life, or that Don Grady knew it, and didn't mind.

Born in 1939, Sal was only sixteen when he starred as Plato, the gay-coded kid who develops a crush on James Dean's Jim Stark in the Boomer classic Rebel without a Cause (1955).

When James Dean died two weeks before the premiere of Rebel, he became a myth; Sal Mino lived, and had to negotiate the tricky terrain of being gay and a teen idol in the 1950s.

Except for his role as the aggressively girl-crazy Angelo Barrato in Rock, Pretty Baby (1957) with John Saxon, he selected covertly homoerotic projects: his characters mooned over a teen gang leader (played by John Cassavetes) in Crime in the Streets (1956), and fell in love-at-first-sight with an ex-con (played by James Whitmore) in The Young Don't Cry (1957).  Even in the Disney Western Tonka (1958), his Native American bonded with a horse rather than a girl.

In 1957, Sal started a musical career, but his records charted poorly, in spite of teen magazine acclaim.  He was a competent performer, and staggeringly handsome in a field where looks were everything, and he might have become a prominent musician, except for the rumors that were emerging in the yellow press.

To establish himself as heterosexual, Sal made the rounds of Hollywood hot spots with teen starlets, and he began putting his barbell-toned physique on display in every performance.  His screen characters became heterosexual, but their practices were oddly organized around triangulations.

In The Gene Krupa Story (1959), drummer Gene Krupa (Sal) goes to New York along with his best buddy Eddie Sirota (teen idol James Darren, soon to star in Time Tunnel) to make it big in the Roaring Twenties jazz scene.  Gene gets a girlfriend, then a wife, Eth (Susan Kohner), but Eddie does not; he is perfectly content to be a third wheel, making do with an occasional sultry look.

When Gene is boy-toyed by a fast-track jazz club singer, it is Eddie, not Eth, who feels betrayed: "Those girls meant nothing to me!" he exclaims, as if it is his friend Eddie, not Eth, who requires an explanation.

After many heart-to-hearts and admonitions, both Eddie and Eth tire of Gene's self-destructive boozing and partying, and leave, then return for a reconciliation.  The requisite fade-out scene shows man and woman walking off into hetero-domestic bliss, but it is clear that Gene has a more intimate, passionate, and permanent relationship with Eddie.

During the 1960s, Sal demonstrated his talent as a serious dramatic actor in Exodus (1960), The Longest Day (1962), and The Greatest Story Ever Told (1965), but the rumors about his sexual identity barred him from major starring roles.

Unless he played aggressively heterosexual characters -- and displayed his physique in multiple shirtless, underwear, and nude shots, as in  Who Killed Teddy Bear (1965).  His muscles eased the suspicion of audiences who thought that gay men were all frail, wispy things.

The rise of gay pride in the 1960s made Sal increasingly comfortable with his identity, so just before Stonewall, he dropped the heterosexual facade, announced to the world that he was gay, and began looking for same-sex romance.  He dated a number of celebrities, including (according to rumor) Don Johnson and Bobby Sherman, before settling down with After Dark model Courtney Burr.

And he returned to roles that were more overtly homoerotic, on stage as a prison rapist in Fortune and Men's Eyes with Don Johnson (and, for a brief period, former Dennis the Menace Jay North), as a gay jewel thief on SWAT Team (with Christopher George), and as a gay burglar  in P.S. Your Cat is Dead.  

Not to mention that episode of My Three Sons.

On the night of February 12, 1976, he was stabbed to death outside his apartment after surprising a burglar.

He left a lasting legacy as one of the first out Hollywood stars.


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