Jul 10, 2018

Physique-Watching at the County Fair

I've been to three county fairs in the last month.  Not that I'm complaining -- they're a major source of summertime beefcake, as well as a fascinating glimpse into a different world.

Fairs originated in the Middle Ages, when most people engaged in sustenance farming, and brought their excess into town to trade for items they might need.

By the 19th century, most people were buying from professional merchants, and fairs became a place to see the latest agricultural equipment and techniques, and compete over the best produce and livestock.

There were state fairs beginning in the 1830s, and county fairs in the 1870s (international expositions of industry and commerce were called worlds' fairs in the 1880s).

Eventually there were carnival-type rides and games, musical acts, races, and other activities, and fairs became a place for fun rather than business.

Nazarenes weren't allowed to go to fairs -- places of sin and corruption -- and of course in gay neighborhoods you wouldn't be caught dead at the heteronormative nuclear-family gun-toting beer-swilling redneck fest -- so I didn't go to any until I moved to the straight world in 2005.

They are, indeed, full of nuclear families and gun-toting, beer-swilling rednecks, but don't let that dissuade you.  The opportunities for physique watching are endless.

1. Those nuclear family dads are often built, and wearing muscle shirts (it's always a hot day, and fairgrounds offer no shade).

2. The beer-swilling rednecks are often hot, too, in a seedy, rough-trade way.

3. Fair employees and volunteers, always buffed young men.  They don't take their shirts off often, but you can see some tight shirts and tighter jeans.

4. Groups of teenagers and college boys.  They don't take their shirts off, either, but they often wear those shirts with no sides, so you can get a side-glimpse of their chests.

5. Hang around the livestock exhibits to see farmboys who have won awards for their sheep, goats, cows, pigs, and horses (this is how everybody displays their goats, with face against crotch.  I don't know why).

Can you imagine what it's like to live on a farm, taking care of animals every day, taking a bus 5 miles into town to go to high school?  For city folk, it's a completely alien world.

But nowadays have smartphones and wi-fi, so they're as connected to the wide world as the rest of us.

 6. Don't forget that there are other gay guys in the straight world, who come to the county fair for physique watching.

See also: Summertime Beefcake at the County Fair

1 comment:

  1. Interesting that you bring up the World's Fair. The 1892 World's Fair actually had what I consider the ancestor of reality TV: "Anthropological exhibits". IOW, human zoos. But I think of 1892 because they experimented with contrast: Put some Yagán Indians next to some Eskimos, or some Sioux with some Aka pygmies. Which is in line with reality TV's wacky situations.

    One of those human zookeepers was a young Franz Boas, who swore he's never be an impressario again.


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