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
San Franciscans turn ordinary events into grand spectacles. Every May, up to 100,000 costumed (and possibly drunk) runners race across town, and each month hundreds of bicyclists take over the city streets and then there's the annual convergence of belligerent Santas who descend on downtown at Christmastime. So when the largest Chinese New Year Parade outside of China starts today, consider donning your finest Sam Spade trench coat and fedora and taking to the streets in search of old-time San Francisco lore, hidden alleys, and city secrets. For 18 years the Chinese New Year Treasure Hunt has sent intrepid teams of amateur private dicks out into North Beach, Chinatown, and Telegraph Hill for a four-hour hunt for clues and locations drawn from the city's storied past. Teamwork and maps are a must, but the fun of hoofing it around town, searching for some obscure storefront from the Barbary Coast days as the dragon dances down Kearny and millions of firecrackers pop, makes this a worthy adventure for some 1,600 participants. Did we mention cake and champagne for the winning teams from each of three skill levels? And, of course, you win a year's worth of bragging rights.
Sat., Feb. 23, 4:30 p.m., 2008