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
Tattoo and body piercing shop Body Manipulations recently turned 23. It's celebrating, naturally, with a night of acrobatic feats, Russian trapeze, body suspensions, contortion, and an exceptionally high pain tolerance. How does a piercing shop run off and join the circus, you might ask? "I had been training at the circus center in Chinese acrobatics and teeterboard on my days off from work," said Director Paul Stoll. "Discovered very quickly that the physical challenges in circus arts were even greater than those faced in piercing or suspension." Faint-hearted folks, take note. This aint your average acrobatic show. Flying Tiger Circus, a once-a-year ordeal, has been known to incorporate flesh hook trapeze, hot metal, straight razors, nails, rope, and skewered biceps, along with the more benign (but no less impressive) aerialist and handbalancer acts. Stoll promises, however, that the show is more art than gore. "It has to be something pretty and amazing to watch." Performers include Manasaurus Rex, Iron Monkey & Snow Ape, and the dizzyingly dazzling Chloe Marvel Light Axelrod, with a special appearance by pancake juggler Scot Nery.
Sun., Aug. 5, 9 p.m., 2012