Sep 17, 2017

Bedouin Beefcake

When I was a kid, I read Sonia and Tim Gidal's Sons of the Desert, about the wild freedom and pristine purity of the nomadic Bedouins, and I was hooked.  Arab boys, slim, hard-bodied, dark-skinned, with big hands and dark eyes, forming fierce, passionate friendships!

It was a highly romanticized view of Bedouin life, of course.

As I got older, I still liked Arab men, but for less romantic reasons.

Well, I guess this is sort of romantic.

We associate Bedouins with Saudi Arabia, but in fact they live throughout the Middle East and North Africa.   Most are no longer nomadic.

I'm not the only Westerner to be enthralled by the myth of the Bedouins.  A whole army of gay British men, like T.E. Lawrence, descended on the desert during the late 19th and early 20th century, in search  of adventure and Bedouin lovers.

Or at least a society where the sexes were strictly segregated, so you could happily spend your life among men.

The last of the Arab seekers was Sir Wilfred Thesiger (1910-2003), who explored Saudi Arabia and Iraq during the 1940s and 1950s, and wrote two books of his travels, Arabian Sands and The Marsh Arabs.

He made many friends and lovers along the way.  The greatest loves of his life were Salim bin Ghabaisha  and Salim bin Kabina.  They both married later, but remained Thesiger's friends for life.  In 2000 they flew to England to surprise him on his 90th birthday.

The uncensored nude photos are on Tales of West Hollywood

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