One of my college sociology professors argued that gay men expanded the sexual options for straight people. He wasn’t talking about straight guys going trade in bathroom stalls in urban areas but about the world of socially-accepted ideas about sex. Gay men pioneered oral and anal sex, he said. With mainstream awareness of gay lives came awareness of gay men’s necessary improvisations for penetrative sex, which in turn gave straight people ideas for having fun without anyone getting pregnant.
Bob Mizer’s legacy as the founder of the Athletic Model Guild was, perhaps, a bit too legendary for the great photographer’s own good. Few realize that away from the beefcake aesthetic Mizer created a vast portfolio of lyrical works that chronicle and celebrate the pre-Stonewall demimonde. So thankfully a new exhibition, Artifacts at New York’s INVISIBLE-EXPORTS presents a collection from this little-seen side of Mizer: staged tableux, images of California subcultures and an intimate collection of objects from various private sessions.
I think you’ll agree with me that there really isn’t any reason to write anything up about our featured Fratmen star (playing inside — and with himself — in the Inner Circle). I mean, the above picture is the very one that inspired the old Chinese proverb: “A Picture’s Meaning Can Express Ten Thousand Words.” And this was, thankfully, before men had discovered overzealous manscaping.