May 13, 2017

Why Infinite Chazz Broke Up with the Ginger Boy

West Hollywood, June 1994

We gave Chazz the nickname Infinite because he was infinitely hung, with at least a Mortadella, and because he was infinitely attractive.  Every guy in sight cruised him.  He would go out to the bars and come back with six telephone numbers.

We met when I was working at a camp for juvenile delinquents, but we didn't become friends until February 1994, when he was 20 years old, taking classes at Cal State Fullerton and working at Disneyland.

For the next two months, he drove up to West Hollywood nearly every Friday or Saturday, whichever day he had off, to go to dinners, parties, and Shabbat services.

He was a big hit at parties, where he usually won the "biggest penis"  contests.

He always shared our bed, unless he was out on a date.

In April 1994, a week or two after Passover, Infinite Chazz started dating Kris, a 19-year old aspiring actor, fresh out of high school in New Jersey.

"He's super-hot, and super-talented," Chazz gushed on the telephone. "He's only been in town six months, but he's already been in some movies and tv shows."

"So, you've been on three or four dates," I pointed out.  "When do we get to meet him?" It was customary to introduce the prospective boyfriend to the friends on the second date, to get their approval.  Barring that, the fourth or fifth date -- to share.

So the next weekend they had us over for dinner at Kris's terrible one-bedroom apartment on DeLongpre, just south of Sunset in Hollywood.

Kris was a ginger boy with a bright open face and a wide mouth.  Good for kissing, good for other things.

But Chazz didn't invited us to share!

Too soon?

During the month of May, I saw Chazz and Kris often.

They came to Shabbat services, followed by dinner at the French Quarter.

No sharing afterwards.

I had lunch alone with Kris while Chazz was at work.

No sharing afterwards.

This was getting annoying.It was ok to wait a couple of weeks, but it had been over a month!

The full story, with nude photos and explicit sexual situations, is on Tales of West Hollywood.

May 12, 2017

Akim and Jim: Tarzan and Boy of European comics

One of the more popular Tarzan clones was Akim, Son of the Jungle, created by Italian cartoonist Roberto Renzi and artist Augusto Pedrazza.  In Italy Tarzan clones are called Tarzanidi.

During his run in Italy (1950-1967), he was exported to France for 700+ issues, Germany for 500+ issues, the Netherlands, Scandinavia, and Greece (where he was renamed Tarzan).  Hundreds of issues appeared through the 1960s and 1970s, with ironic "new adventures" in the 1990s. has them for sale for between 5 and 10 euros.

Some of the rarest appeared in this single-strip per page format.  Here Akim fights the Biblical muscleman Samson.

Akim's back story is nearly identical to that of Tarzan:

Count Frederick Rank, the British ambassador to Calcutta, is shipwrecked on the wild coast of Africa along with his wife and infant son, Jim.  The parents soon die, leaving the toddler to be raised by gorillas.

Grown up, he becomes Akim, Son of the Jungle, with various animals at his command.  He marries the British heiress Rita, and they adopt a son, Jim, who turns into buffed blond man-mountain.

In most adventures, they leave Rita back at the tree house and venture out as a pair, leaving all of the gay subtexts of the 1940s Tarzan movies starring Johnny Weissmuller and Johnny Sheffield.

Sometimes Jim goes out adventuring on his own, requiring Akim to rescue him from the usual jungle poachers, cannibals, and lost civilizations, as well as aliens, mad scientists, and dinosaurs.

Whether they're speaking French, German, Italian, or Dutch, the buddy-bonding is easy to spot.

May 11, 2017

Romero Britto's Gay Art and Conservative Politics

Brazilian-born artist Romero Britto brings pop art into the 21st century with his instantly recognizable style of interlocking, brightly-colored patterns.  His work has appeared in over 100 museums and galleries around the world; his public art is on display in New York, Berlin, Paris, and Brazil; he has designed ads for dozens of companies, from Disney to Absolut Vodka.

His work is mostly "cute", puppies and kittens and children.  But there's some of gay interest, like this nude torso and penis.

And this bulging beach boy.

A lot of hetero-romance, but at least one gay couple.

Politically conservative, he designed the art for ultra-homophobic Jeb Bush's presidential bid in 2016.  But paradoxically, he also designed the art for this mass gay wedding in Atlanta in 2015.

Although rather flamboyant in real life, he has been married to a woman since 1988, and has a son, Brendan.

Who worked for Hillary.

May 10, 2017

Sausage Sighting of Christopher Atkins

When I was living in West Hollywood, I met a lot of actors, some famous ones: Adam West, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Cesar Romero, Gregory Harrison, Greg Williams, John Amos, Lou Ferrigno, Michael J. Fox, Richard Dreyfuss.

But only one is a Facebook friend today: Christopher Atkins

Here's why:

West Hollywood, June 1994

In the spring of 1994, our 20-year old ex-juvenile delinquent friend Infinite Chazz began dating Kris, a 19-year old baby-faced ginger boy who had been in Los Angeles less than a year, but had already been in some movies and tv shows.

You might know him as Kristoffer Winters, who played the Zilbor in Dude, Where's My Car (2000) and Clayton Gallagher in Shameless (2011-2012), and who is reputedly the boyfriend of  Jeremy Renner.

Renner could do worse -- Kristoffer won the "biggest penis" prize at one of our parties.

Not much of a physique, his ankles!

Kris had just landed his first starring role, in what turned out to be a very bad Smokey and the Bandits rip-off called Smoke n Lightnin, about two auto mechanics named, naturally, Smoke and Lightnin (no g), who get involved in a caper involving car chases and girls.

"It's not exactly King Lear," he admitted, "But it could lead to bigger things.  And you'll never guess who my costar is -- Christopher Atkins!  I had such a crush on him when I was a kid!"

We all had a crush on Christopher Atkins when he played a boy growing up on a desert island in The Blue Lagoon (1980) -- a thoroughly heterosexist movie famous for several nude frontal shots of the tanned young actor.

The full story, with nude photos and explicit sexual situations, is on Tales of West Hollywood.

May 9, 2017

The Navy Pre-Flight Training School: World War II Beefcake

In February 1942, just at the start of U.S. involvement in World War II, St. Mary's College in California was chosen as one of four sites for a Navy Pre-Flight Training School, where new recruits would get four weeks of basic training.

The Navy took over some of the campus buildings and built others, and in July the camp opened.  It was operational until 1946.

 Recruits received military training and took academic classes (mathematics, physics, military law) and athletics (boxing, swimming, and football).  One of the football instructors was future president Gerald Ford.

Upon entry, they were photographed in their underwear -- front, rear, side.  A number of the photographs have been recovered and posted on the internet.

They only give initials, so it will be virtually impossible to track down these guys and find out what happened to them later in life.

We will have to be content with glimpses into the beefcake and bulges of the past.

Martin, J.D. September 7, 1942

Beckman, F.A. August 24, 1942

DeMaria, M.  Oct 20, 1942

Pizzuto, M.A. Oct 27, 1942

Dow, L. M.,  Nov 4, 1942

Smith,E.S. Dec 29, 1942

Dean, D.A. February 9, 1943

Schultze, R.I., October 13, 1943

Carrell, T. R.  June 6, 1944

McMahon R. October 27, 1942.

Brown, R. R. June 22, 1944

The Closet Professor has an article about the training school

This article with two nude photos is on Tales of West Hollywood

May 8, 2017

How to Survive the Top 10 Problems of Summer

For teachers and college professors, summer begins when you turn in the final grades in May, and ends when you stand in front of that first class in August.

I hate summertime.  Three long, hot, boring, miserable months of nothing.

But I've survived it before.  Here are my solutions to the top 10 problems of summer.

1. There's nothing to do during the daytime.

I envy those people with office jobs that stay the same all year round, so they can keep their same structure and routine through the downtime.  I have no appointments, no obligations, nothing to do, no one to see,.

At least when I was a kid, there were summer enrichment classes, summer camps, Vacation Bible School, and the weekly visit of the bookmobile, but as an adult, it's sitting around the house for three months waiting for fall classes to begin.

Solution: Pursue a new hobby, like BDSM or hooking on Grinder.

2. There's nothing to do in the evening.

TV is all reruns, and the theater, opera, and ballet seasons are over.

Solution: Host a M4M party.  Advertise on Craigslist, and invite 20 gay and bi-curious guys over.  Nudity optional; prizes for the biggest and smallest endowments.

3. There is no night.

The sun doesn't go down until 9:00 pm.  Then it's an eerie twilight until 10:00 pm.

Face it, daylight after dinner is just creepy. I especially hated it when I was a kid, and my parents sent me to bed while the sun was blazing.

Solution: spend 6 pm -10 pm in a bathhouse, where it's always dark.

4. You gain weight.

When classes are in session, you walk from your car to the parking lot, from your office to class, the student union, to the library, to various committee meetings, plus pacing around while teaching, so you cover 5 or more miles a day easily on top of your daily run.  In the summer, your daily run is all the cardio you get.

Solution: Spend more time at the gym, particularly if it's a gay gym where you can do more than work out.

5. You're forced to "enjoy the outdoors."

Come on, "the outdoors" is what you go through to get places.  What is there to "enjoy" there?  It's like enjoying a train station, or standing in line for a movie.  

Yet your friends get upset when you "waste" a day indoors, and drag you off for swimming, boating, canoeing, or just wandering about.

Solution: when you are forced to "enjoy the outdoors," insist that everyone take their shirts off.  Concentrate on the muscles, and it will soon be over.

More after the break.

6. You're even forced to eat outside.

I challenge you to find anyone who actually enjoys eating on hard wooden benches, with the wind blowing napkins and paper plates around, and leaves and twigs and bugs falling all over the food.  We put our dining rooms inside the house for a reason.

Yet summertime is a mess of barbecues, picnics, festivals, and baseball games with food being chomped done on outside, and your friends even want to serve you dinner on the back yard patio.

Solution: Again, shirts off.

7. It's ungodly hot outside.

In the winter you can bundle up, but there's nothing you can do about getting drenched with sweat after walking half a block,

Solution: I had this problem all the time in Los Angeles and Florida.  Hot weather means clothes off, so there lots of opportunities for guy-watching.

8. It's ungodly cold inside.

After getting drenched with sweat, you walk into a building in a tank top and shorts, and face an Artic wind -- air conditioners are blasting away, and it's 60 degrees!

Solution:  Carry a warm sweater with you, and every time you walk into a building, put it on and pretend that it's December.  This will help alleviate your summer depression, too.

9. There are no good holidays.

Fall has Halloween and Thanksgiving, winter has Christmas and Valentine's Day, spring has Easter and St. Patrick's Day.

What does summer have?  In the U.S., Independence Day, the 4th of July, a holiday of jingoistic patriotism, noisy fireworks, and eating outside.

there are Gay Pride Festivals in hundreds of cities, mostly in June, some in July and August.  Go to as many as you can.

10. There's no escape.

If you don't like cold winters, for some crazy reason, you can fly south to balmy Los Angeles, Fort Lauderdale, or Phoenix.

But there's no place in North America that's cold during the summertime -- even Fairbanks, Alaska can hit 80 degrees.  You'd have to summer in Australia.

Solution: Only 88 more days until fall.

See also: Playing Outside; 34 Reasons to Like Summer

Helmut Riedmeier, German Bodybuilder with Something Extra

Helmut Riedmeier was born in Munich on May 14th, 1944, during World War II, and took up bodybuilding as a teenager.

He won the Junior Mr. Germany award in 1964 and Mr. Germany and Mr. Europe in 1965.

In 1966 he came in second place in Mr. Europe, losing to a young Arnold Schwarzenegger.

He began posing for physique magazines as a teenager.  After he moved to London in 1968, he did some nude porn-style shoots for Basil Clavering of Hussar Studios.  The surviving photos make good use of his "something extra."

No sex scenes have survived, if any existed, but there is some homoerotic buddy-bonding.

Although Helmut never achieved the worldwide fame of Arnold Schwarzeneggar or Franco Columbu, he maintained a strong competitive presence during the 1970s and 1980s, placing in Mr. Europe 5 times and Mr. Universe twice.

Meanwhile, according to one website, he had a nightclub act, performing nude as "White Heat."

I haven't been able to find out much about his later life, but in 2001 he won the International British Master Championship, and in 2006 he competed in the German Master Championships, at the age of 62.

He's retired, living in Munich, and still buffed at age 73.

There are nude photos on Tales of West Hollywood.

May 7, 2017

My Boyfriend Goes to Bed with a Baseball Player

Rock Island, June 1979

I've been putting off the story of Carl the Nazarene boy, because it's kind of embarrassing.

He was one of my brother Kenny's friends, a 16-year old sophomore at Rocky High (all models in the nude photos are over 18) .  I had seen him around, and talked to him a few times, but we didn't start dating until Kenny invited him over for a party on May 25th, 1979.

He was short, with a round baby face, wavy brown hair, dark brown eyes, a smooth pale chest, and slim abs with an outtie belly button.

Obviously too young for me: I was in college, a mature adult, and he was still a "little boy."  It would be social suicide if anyone at Augustana saw me hanging out him.

But he was cute, and very enthusiastic, and besides, how many gay guys had I met during the year since I figured "it" out?  Two, and neither of them wanted to date me.  You take what you can get.

As it turns out, we started dating at the worst possible moment: the Friday before Memorial Day Weekend.

 I had a trip to Colombia and a week in Indiana coming up, and he had a family vacation to Minnesota and a week at Nazarene summer camp.

So between May 28th and the end of July, we had three "dates," but really sort of hookups.

1. Swimming at Longview Park Pool (with Kenny along as a chaperone).  Afterwards we went upstairs to our bedroom to change clothes.  Kenny finished quickly, but Carl and I dawdled so we could have some time alone.

2. Carl and I sat together in church, and then he came over for Sunday dinner.  Afterwards we went up to my office and got naked,

3. Broasted chicken at Mulkey's and then parking on the levee to watch the sunset over the Mississippi.  .

This wasn't working.  I wanted to hold Carl in my arms, feel his head against my chest, cuddle with him all night.  I wanted us to sleep together, like I used to do with Bill, but with full knowledge that we were boyfriends, that this was "real."

How to get him into my bed?

"Could you host a sleepover next weekend?" I asked Kenny.

"I'm sixteen," he said gruffly.  "I'll be a junior in the fall."

Sleepover were common in grade school, our main social event: four or five boys,with your brother invited by default.  They became increasingly uncommon in junior high, and they generally ended by high school.  But not always...

"You can still have them in high school, for sort of nostalgia.  Invite your old friends.  It will be fun."

"Hey, I practically had to pay you to get to have my last sleepover!"  Kenny exclaimed.  "Why are you so hot to have one now?"

"Well, you could invite Carl, and then..."

"You're not going to do weird gay sex stuff in front of a bunch of normal guys, are you?"

"No, of course not.  Well, maybe a little, after everybody is asleep.  But we'll be able to kiss and cuddle under the covers, like boyfriends."

"Who knew that homos like to kiss?  I thought you were all about the dick."

"Well, dicks, too, of course, but kissing, cuddling, all of that romantic stuff."

"Ok, ok, you don't need to draw me a picture."  He patted my shoulder.  "I wouldn't dream of standing in the way of two homos in love!  Don't worry, I'll give you your gay make-out sleepover. "

The full story, with nude photos and explicit sexual content, is on Tales of West Hollywood.

Beefcake and Bonding in British Boys' Annuals

From the 1930s through the 1980s, British boys spent Christmas day unwrapping and reading "annuals," thick hardback books with stories and pictures derived from weekly story papers: Hotspur, Champion, Knockout, Perfect Book for Boys, Best Book for Boys, dozens of titles.

There were also annuals for girls and children, but the boys' annuals were notable for two reasons.

1. Shirtless and semi-nude covers and interior illustrations.  Hundreds of muscular teenage boys and men on display, many more than in the American adventure boys series.

They were playing sports, camping, fighting monsters. They were alone and in pairs.  Their muscles glistened in the Christmas firelight.

2. The stories inside did not involve the dating, romances, and overall girl-craziness that obsessed American teen stories in the 1950s and 1960s. They were about boys meeting, being rescued by, and establishing permanent relations with other boys and men.

For instance, in a story in Monster Book for Boys ("monster" means "big"), sixteen-year old Keith is living quietly on a farm in Devon, longing for “companionship and fun,” when he stumbles upon Count Max Von Staubnitz, “a pleasant-looking, rather dandified young man" (i.e., he's gay).  

After an acquaintanceship lasting less than five minutes, the Count invites Keith to come along on his quest to retrieve a secret formula from enemy agents, resulting in many last-minute rescues and many opportunities to praise Keith’s “youthful muscles” and “muscles like steel" (i.e., he thinks that Keith is hot).  Then, when the crisis is resolved, the Count, blushing and stammering like a shy schoolboy, invites Keith to live on his estate in Central Europe (i.e., he wants a permanent partner, not just a fling). 

Unfortunately, you couldn't get them in the United States, so I didn't know that they existed until I was grown up and browsing on ebay.

But gay British boys certainly had an advantage.  While their American cousins were making do with comic book advertisements and Jolly Green Giant commercials, they could gaze at the real deal.