While they often presented themselves as bodybuilders’ publications, their chuckle-prompting titles — Torso, Adonis, Honcho, Mandate — didn’t lie. Gay men’s magazines of decades past were bought by gay men who wanted to look at the erotic illustrations of well- built male bodies therein. Because any- one known to possess such material in the homophobic 1950s and 1960s could experience serious consequences, men hid the magazines under their mat- tresses. These illustrations have now inspired a traveling exhibition, Stroke: From Under the Mattress to the Museum Wall. Curated by notable erotic artist Robert W. Richards and orig- inating at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, the popular show contains 24 original illustrations that ap- peared in gay magazines from the 1950s to the 1990s. It also looks at how gay men, forced into the closet during those decades, used these pictures to explore their sexuality intimately. It additionally serves as a showcase for the artists in- volved. On view are works by two dozen top artists of the times, including Touko Laaksonen (Tom of Finland), Antonio Lopez (Antonio), and David Martin.More
Recognizing that the noble pursuits of geekery and nerd culture are alive and well in San Francisco, The Avengers of Comedy have arrived to celebrate and skewer the culture of flamboyant intelligence that thrives in this region. Tonight’s installment is the sequel to an idea local funnymen Sam Davidoff (who serves as the host) and Dash Kwiatkowski (who headlines the show) had last year, and features sets from San Jose Improv Best of the Bay finalists Stephen Ku and Kyle McFadden, Sacramento comedian Claire Fischer, and previous Purple Onion regular Jesse McGrath. Pocket protectors are optional as these intrepid and oh-so-nerdy comedians take back the night for a second time.
Tue., Jan. 22, 8 p.m., 2013