Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Gayest Thing You'll See This Week (Retro Edition)

I'll Take One To Go

Long before the Internet and the advent of readily available gay erotica, there were "Physique" magazines. Popular in the 50's, 60's and even the early 70's, these magazines purported to be about athletics and body-building. Of course, they were just filled with photos of half-naked, hot, muscular men in provocative poses and costumes, marketed to closeted gay men (and they pretty much all were, back then) who needed a little "help" when feeling lonely.

Of course, no one would dare admit to what those magazines were really about or who was buying them or why. They were about "health" and "fitness." No one was looking at them for sexual gratification (and my Great Aunt Ernestine was really the Grand Duchess Anastasia).

Today on Towleroad, someone dug up an old British Pathe clip* featuring a "daring" men's fashion show from 1951. And I suppose that for 1951, the clothing is actually a bit daring. Leopard-print bikinis, high-cut briefs and short-shorts were not what a gentleman wore about town in 1951. Designer John Cavanagh narrates what must have been a shocking piece when it first appeared on British cinema screens.

Of course, the models look like they've been drugged and you just know that the man feeling the fabric on that "Festival of Britain" shirt wished he could feel what's under those shorts (and he well may have, after the camera stopped rolling). And while I would like to imagine that the confused dachshund is a thinly disguised 'wiener' reference, I have to admit that the dog's inclusion was probably intended as kitsch, rather than camp. Though who knows what was going through the (supposedly) far more innocent minds of folks 60 years ago?

*I can't help but mention that the British Pathe logo is a cock.

More, anon.


Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

This was just slightly before my time (born in 71) but just barely. Boy how times have changed. You are a cool cat Prospero. I'm glad to get to know you through the internet.

Sean said...

The model looks a lot like Maxwell Caulfield from Grease 2, Dynasty and The Colbys.

And the answer is: "what do you think it is?"

Stephen said...

Very gay... complete with a wiener dog. Love it!