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
Bagpipes, haggis, poetry, whiskey. The Scottish pub's website describes its 11th annual Burns Night activities tersely, and with target-map accuracy. Those four items are the main points of interest for the evening, and also the ones you'd want to be warned about if you didn't like them. Is there going to be whiskey? Whiskey drinking? Then I won't like it. See? If that were you, you'd have a completely miserable time at this yearly celebration of Scotland's pride and joy. Ditto for the other stuff, especially poetry rhyming poetry, we'd add. Oh, and haggis, the sheep's bladder pudding, right? If that doesn't work for you, which is understandable, please don't use Burns Night as a way to find out whether haggis actually makes you vomit, okay? And you know how people hate bagpipes. (Not Scots. We love droning, whether high-pitched or low, or both at once.) Robert Burns, the penner of Auld Lang Syne (223 years ago, and still no one knows what the hell the title means) and many other lovely poems, is always, and all over the world, celebrated using these key elements. We've seen other flourishes at Burns Nights past, including lesbian priests, yoga comedy, and long-winded fart jokes, but the basics endure. Beware.
Sat., Jan. 29, 9 p.m., 2011