Dec 20, 2014

Gay Fan Art 2: Invader Zim

Invader Zim lasted for only a season and a half on Nickelodeon (2001-2002) before it was cancelled due to low ratings.  But it got a new life through internet downloads and DVD sales, and later it was successfully rebroadcast on Nicktoons.

The premise: Zim (Richard Steven Horvitz) is an incompetent alien warrior sent, as punishment, to scout out the inconsequential backwater of Earth.  Since he is a child, he enrolls in elementary school, where the outcast human boy Dib (Andy Berman) suspects his secret.

One would suspect that the two antagonists would eventually learn to trust and support each other, but in fact that never happens.  Zim never waivers in his bombastic "We will enslave you all!" contempt of humans.  He forms alliances with Dib only when it is essential for his purposes, and then quickly and easily betrays him.  And Dib never grows to like or respect the alien; in fact, he takes great pains to torment him.

Thus, no gay subtexts between the two.  No beefcake.  No nothing.

Still, fans went wild, conjuring image after image of the duo (usually aged to adolescence or adulthood) hugging, kissing, cuddling on a couch, sharing an apartment.

In the top picture, a fully-nude Dib opens his bedroom door to display Zib sleeping peacefully after a night of passion.  It originally featured a very nice full frontal shot.

Here they just hug.

Sometimes the antagonism is retained. One captures and tortures or sexually assaults the other.

But even that is usually cast as a consensual S&M scene, willingly giving and taking power.

I'm not sure why, but antagonists always inspire much more gay fan art than buddies.

(Original pictures from the artists on

See also: Gay Fan Art #1: Max Goof.; and Gay Fan Art #3: Beast Boy

Dec 18, 2014

American Horror Story: Gay World

The anthology series American Horror Story is a hit in gay communities.  It's stylish, witty, adequately creepy -- and gay inclusive, a rarity in horror tv.   Here's my rating of the gay content of the first four seasons: beefcake, buddy-bonding, gay characters, and gay symbolism.  Scale of 1 (terrible) to 5 (excellent).

Season 1: Murder House (2011)

A family moves into a house overrun by the ghosts of previous residents.  Interesting twist: ghosts can become corporeal, with bodies indistinguishable from those of the living.
Beefcake: lots of muscular chests and backsides.  These ghosts get naked a lot.
Buddy Bonding: Troubled teen Tate (Evan Peters) seems to have a little thing for the troubled psychiatrist (Dylan McDermott).
Gay Characters: Zachary Quinto and Teddy Sears play a bickering gay couple who were planning to split up.  Then they were murdered in the house, and now they are stuck together for all eternity.  The other ghosts and humans are generally nonchalant about them.
Gay Symbolism: None.
Overall Rating: ****

Season 2: Asylum (2012)

An evil nun runs a creepy asylum for the criminally insane in the 1960s.  With demons, Anne Frank, and alien abductions.
Beefcake:  Not much.  Evan Peters as an alien abductee.
Buddy Bonding: None.  Again, all of the significant friendships are male-female.
Gay Characters: Sarah Paulson as Lana Winters, a lesbian reporter committed to the asylum and forced to undergo a homophobic "treatment" regiment.  In the present, she's a famous writer, out-and-proud.
Gay Symbolism: None.
Overall Rating: ****

Season 3: Coven (2013)

A school for teen witches, a voodoo queen, and the re-animated corpse of 19th century murderess Delphine LaLaurie.  What more could you ask for?  Maybe some gay characters?
Beefcake: Lots.  Madame LaLaurie had a thing for torturing hunky male slaves, and the teen witches build themselves a Frankenstein-monster boyfriend (Evan Peters again).
Buddy Bonding: Some female bonding going on.
Gay Characters: None, except for a fruity Truman Capote-esque member of the Witches Council, who appears briefly in two episodes.
Gay Symbolism:  Witches hiding in the shadows, afraid to let anyone know their true identity, etc., etc.
Overall Rating: ***

Season 4: Freak Show (2014)
A financially-strapped freak show in 1950s Florida, with a murderous clown and his dapper young apprentice wandering around.
Beefcake:  Evan Peters again, the bare buns of a Viking Hustler, a circus strongman, and an amazing bodybuilding little person (his name is Kyle Pacek).
Buddy Bonding: Men are mostly competitors.
Gay Characters: Several.  But for a change, Dandy, the ultra-feminine murderer, is not.
Gay Symbolism: Freaks hiding in the shadows, et., etc.
Overall Rating: *****

Dec 17, 2014

Fetish 101: The Truth About Being into Feet, Feathers, Balloons, or Cake

What do you find most attractive about this guy?
A. His basket
B. His biceps
C. His shoes

If you said B, you have partialism, an erotic interest in parts of the human body other than the sex organs.

Like biceps, feet, elbows, shoulders, backsides, and women's breasts.

If you said C, you have a fetish, an erotic interest in an object other than the human body.

Like shoes, boots, leather jackets, baseball caps, cigars, feathers,  underwear, crutches, balloons, cake, jello, mud, urine, and bubbles.

The list is endless.  Nearly everybody has some partialism and fetishes.

And some paraphilias, erotic interest in activities that don't necessarily involve contact with the sex organs.

Like bondage, BDSM, voyeurism (watching other people), exhibitionism (having other people watch you), wearing diapers, smoking, coughing, being lifted, being tickled, saying bad words...

Again, the list is endless.

There are four main theories about how we got our fetishes.

1. Imprinting.  Our earliest erotic thoughts are indelibly linked with the situation they occurred in.  Even incidental details become erotic.  If, for instance, you first liked a guy who happened to be smoking a cigar, you'll have an erotic interest in cigars forever.

Or cigar boxes.  Or just the tips of cigars.  Or having smoke blown into your face.

2. Gender Symbolism.  The object or situation is aggressively masculine or feminine, distilling the "essence" of what it means to be male or female.  You don't just like shoes in general, you like black leather boots or red stiletto heels.  You don't like just any article of clothing, you like gym socks and jock straps or brassieres and red lace panties.

3. Dirty/Forbidden. We grow up being told that sex acts are unclean, that erotic books and magazines are "dirty."  So we associate the erotic with acts or objects regarded as unclean, like feet, mud, urine, and bad words.

4. Power/Control.  Sex acts are always about getting or giving up control, one partner submitting to the other.  So we associate the erotic with acts or objects that involve explicit control, like police uniforms or daddy-son scenes.

Pop quiz:  Why do people find it erotic to get or give wedgies?
A. First experience
B. Gender symbolism
C. Dirty/forbidden
D. Power/control

Answer: Could be any or all of the above.

Psychiatrists used to think that fetishes, paraphilias, and partialism were invariably destructive, perversions of the "sexual instinct."

The psychiatric consensus now is that they're fine, as long as they aren't your only erotic interest, so you should enjoy "real sex" too.

But really, I don't see why anyone should care.  If you are happy with erotic acts involving feet or feathers, or being called bad names, or getting soda spilled on you, how will switching to penises make you happier, more fulfilled, or a better person?

There are only two problems with fetishes and paraphilias:

1. They're very specific.  You don't just want to be tied up, you want to be tied to a tree with gold-colored ropes, with your hands over your head, and a gold scarf used as a gag.

It;s difficult to orchestrate such precise situations, so you might have to settle for almost right, or resign yourself to many nights without passion.

2. It's hard to find Mr. Right.  Potential partners are usually either attractive but not into it, or into it but not attractive.  I suggest going with the latter.  Nothing is more boring than a partner who is just "putting up" with your fetish.

And if he is actually into having stir-fried vegetables eaten off his stomach while he's wearing a Ninja Turtle costume, who cares if he has muscles?

See also: Finding Larry's Fetish; and The Secretary: The Bottom Always Calls the Shots

Dec 16, 2014

What's the Gay Connection in "The Sound of Music"?

When I was living in West Hollywood, people kept saying things like:
"I can't go out tonight -- The Sound of Music is on!"
"Which Sound of Music character are you?"
"The Sound of Music is playing at the community theater.  We have to go!"

I have never seen it all the way through.  It gives me bad vibes.

It's my fourth grade teacher's fault.  She told us about Anne Frank and The Sound of Music at the same time, and I got them mixed up, thinking that the musical ended with everyone dying in a concentration camp.

When I used to hear the songs, they gave me a frisson of dread, since I thought they were being sung by the prisoners at Auschwitz.

But even without the horror, they made no sense.  Look at "Do, Re, Mi":

Far, a long, long way to run.  It's  pronounced far, not fahhhh.

Ti, a drink with jam and bread.  Who drinks tea with jam and bread?  For that matter, what the heck is jam?

Or "My Favorite Things"
Cream colored ponies and crisp apple strudels.  Ponies don't come in cream colors, and strudel is a soft pastry, not crisp.

When the dog bites -- when the bee stings.  If a dog bites you, thinking of "favorite things" wouldn't help -- you need a rabies shot. And why would you feel sad when bitten or stung?  It's not sad, it's painful.

"Oh, no," everyone kept telling me.  "It's the greatest musical of all time!  And the gayest!"

So I've been looking for the gay connection.

Not in the plot: it's just a "servant inspires joie de vivre in disfunctional family" story, done to death on tv: Hazel, Charles in Charge, Mr. Belvedere, Give me a Break, The Nanny.  Here the nanny is future nun Maria (Julie Andrews), and the family belongs to the stern Captain Von Trapp of the Austrian army (Christopher Plummer).  After they learn joie de vivre, the family hits it big as professional singers, and finally they escape from the Nazis by climbing over the hillside into Switzerland.

There is no beefcake or buddy-bonding.

There are no gay or gay-vague characters, except maybe Max Detweiler, who becomes the children's agent.

 In 1965 he was played by Richard Haydn, who was gay in real life.  This scene does not appear in the movie.

Maybe there's a gay connection in the cast?

Julie Andrews, of course, went on to play a woman disguised as a drag queen in Victor/Victoria (1982).

Christopher Plummer  won an Academy Award at the age of 82, for playing a gay man who comes out after retirement in Beginners (2010).  In the top photo, he seems to be having a little loincloth malfunction in The Royal Hunt of the Sun (1969).

Nicholas Hammond (left), one of the two boys in Von Trapp's mostly female family, played Spider-Man on tv (1977-78), where he displayed a respectable bulge.  He was married for only four years, and is rumored to be gay.

Not a lot of gay connection there.

What about the real life Von Trapp Family, lead by patriarch Georg Ritter Von Trapp (1888-1947)?  Ok, they were professional singers long before they met Maria, and they were Italian citizens who didn't need to escape Germany -- they just bought train tickets.  After the War, they opened a lodge in Stowe, Vermont.  

Most of the kids eventually married, although Agathe may have been gay: she ran a kindergarten with her "friend of 50 years," Mary Louise Kane.

Still not a lot of gay connection.

The Sound of Music Live! (2013) starred Carrie Underwood as Maria and Stephen Moyer (left) as Captain Von Trapp, Christian Borle (second photo), who plays a lot of gay characters, made his Max Detweiler as gay-vague as possible.

Not much there, either.

So the gay connection of The Sound of Music consists mostly of bulges?

See also: Charles in Charge; Mr. Belvedere; My Fair Lady.
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