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
We can always count on Good Vibrations for two things: to help us learn more about sex and sexuality and to keep us from taking it all too seriously. So it is with the Independent Erotic Film Festival. Every year the San Francisco retail institution gathers short erotic films from around the world and screens the best of what they find. This year local drag favorite Peaches Christ joins Good Vibes staff sexologist Carol Queen in showing us what people think is hot in seven minutes or less. According to what weve seen from the stills and what Queen tells us from helping choose the winners, these go beyond amateur porn. Instead of thinking of it as what your neighbors might do with a Handycam, says Queen, Think of it as what they might do if they had sophisticated equipment and the ability to storyboard their sex lives. And then theres the humor. One film, for example, is a parody of a sci-fi favorite (wonder if you can guess which one) called The Filth Element. Another is a music video. Still others explore alternative takes on eroticism and sexuality, including same-sex encounters and a couple looking for a third person to join them. The screening is preceded by a party that includes live mariachi music, margaritas, and burlesque performers.
Thu., Sept. 23, 7 p.m., 2010