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
Forget the hovercraft: Where the heck are our jet packs? In this, the futuristic year 2008, youd think wed all be zipping around in our own private strap-on flying machines. Instead, most of us still seem to be strapped to desk chairs. At the two-day Jet Pack Show, you can get a taste of the future denied you. Actual jet packs, rocket belts, and ducted fan flying machines will be on display, and there will be two live demonstrations each day. Bill Suitor, who piloted the jet pack filmed in the 1965 James Bond film Thunderball, will talk about his experiences, and kids 18 years or older can test out a jet pack simulator. Its been more than 30 years since a jet pack flew in the Bay Area; they cant keep us down any longer.
Sept. 6-7, 11 a.m., 2008