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
If not “Oh, God!” what does an atheist say in the throes of sexual passion? Although that sounds like the start of a derisive joke, it illustrates how some people who don’t believe in a higher power feel about how they’re treated in a city that prides itself on tolerance: not tolerated, specifically in alt-sex circles. Four leading writers, educators, and activists in queer and kinky communities assemble tonight for Godless Perverts, a public debate on the issue. Organizer Chris Hall (who wrote a strong post on the subject for our arts blog, The Exhibitionist) says judgmental and condescending attitudes exist around godlessness in kinky and queer communities, although here in the Sexual Mecca spirituality takes the form of goddess worship or tantric rituals rather than tent revivals. The result, he says, is that for nonbelievers such as himself, BDSM dungeons or queer-pride parades can seem as unwelcoming as the “red state” regions they fled. Hall is joined by Charlie Glickman, a “Jewish pagan atheist” who is education program manager at Good Vibrations. Blogger and public speaker Greta Christina has written extensively on sexuality and atheism for numerous publications, and contributed to the anthology Everything You Know About God Is Wrong. Maggie Mayhem describes herself as a “radical progressive sex hacker, writer, and performer” who “fucks and thinks at the same time.” They invite everyone — believer, nonbeliever, skeptic, other — to talk about how be a good perv without a god (or goddess), attitudes that favor religious and spiritual beliefs, whether the scientific can also be ecstatic, and, yes, what an atheist calls out in the bedroom.
Thu., April 26, 7 p.m., 2012