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
SF Indiefests Love Bites sing-along is a Valentines Day party for those down-in-the-dumps, shit-out-of-luck sad bastards who are ready to shuck off their self-pity and pump their fists in broken-hearted solidarity. Sure, there are plenty of ways to get emo and pine over lost love on that loneliest day of the year, but few are as transcendent as purging your heartache to the epic strains of '80s power ballads. They may be the only genre that represents love in all its grandiose, heartbreaking, and ridiculous glory, with songs that are engineered for drunken, balls-to-the-wall commiseration. Love Bites is an evening of classic videos by the likes of Warrant, Bon Jovi, REO Speedwagon, and GnfnR, the official soundtrack of bad love and even worse one-night stands. Its a rare opportunity to hold your lighters aloft to fat slabs of fine cheese like Poisons Every Rose Has Its Thorn and Cinderellas Don't Know What You Got (Till It's Gone) with a theater full of folks in the same situation, instead of doing the same alone during last call at the local dive bar. Feathered hair and leopard-print outfits are encouraged, not required, but it may be worth dressing to impress: Theres always the chance youll make an ill-advised love connection by the end of the night.
Mon., Feb. 14, 9:15 p.m., 2011