informed gay identity. 10 The men who constituted Him ’s audience were thus encouraged to see, to borrow from a 1981 political manifesto by the American journalist and book editor Michael Denneny, ‘gay pornography’ as ‘by and large a positive fulfilment that counteracts the nightmarish fears of our adolescent years and, as such, is politically progressive’. 11 In narrating the particular developments associated with the publication of Him Exclusive, Him International and Him Monthly and highlighting the cultural work that pornography did for gay men in the
This book demonstrates a fruitful cross-fertilisation of ideas between British queer history and art history. It engages with self-identified lesbians and with another highly important source for queer history: oral history. The book highlights the international dimension of what to date has been told as a classic British tale of homosexual law reform and also illuminates the choices made and constraints imposed at the national level. It embarks on a queer critical history, arguing for the centrality, in John Everett Millais's life-writing, of the strange-to-us category of unconventionality. The book aims to expose the queer implications of celebrity gossip writing. It offers a historical analysis of the link between homosexual men and gossip by examining the origins of the gossip column in the British tabloid press in the three decades after 1910. The book provides an overview of the emergence and consolidation of a number of new discourses of homosexuality as a social practice in postwar Britain. It explores a British variant on homophile internationalism before and immediately after the 1967 Sexual Offences Act by mapping Grey's cross-border connections while noting strain against transnational solidarity. The book focuses on evidence collected by the 1977 Committee on Obscenity and Film Censorship to illustrate how gay men conceptualised the place of pornography in their lives and its role in the broader struggle for the freedom.
7 ANONYMOUS and Badboy Books: a 1990s moment in the history of pornography with Nina Attwood In Manhattan in the early 1990s a diverse group of female and male former college students from the City University of New York (CUNY), drawn together by their love of the role-playing fantasy game Dungeons & Dragons, started to write gay pornography. The organising force behind the venture was a young Hispanic man from the Lower East Side, soon to be known either as ANONYMOUS or Julian Anthony Guerra, his other nom de plume. Remarkably, this (by his own admission
The archive has assumed a new significance in the history of sex, and this book visits a series of such archives, including the Kinsey Institute’s erotic art; gay masturbatory journals in the New York Public Library; the private archive of an amateur pornographer; and one man’s lifetime photographic dossier on Baltimore hustlers. The subject topics covered are wide-ranging: the art history of homoeroticism; casual sex before hooking-up; transgender; New York queer sex; masturbation; pornography; sex in the city. The duality indicated by the book’s title reflects its themes. It is an experiment in writing an American sexual history that refuses the confines of identity sexuality studies, spanning the spectrum of queer, trans, and the allegedly ‘normal’. What unites this project is a fascination with sex at the margins, refusing the classificatory frameworks of heterosexuality and homosexuality, and demonstrating gender and sexual indecision and flexibility. And the book is also an exploration of the role of the archive in such histories. The sex discussed is located both in the margins of the archives, what has been termed the counterarchive, but also, importantly, in the pockets of recorded desire located in the most traditional and respectable repositories. The sexual histories in this book are those where pornography and sexual research are indistinguishable; where personal obsession becomes tomorrow’s archive. The market is potentially extensive: those interested in American studies, sexuality studies, contemporary history, the history of sex, psychology, anthropology, sociology, gender studies, queer studies, trans studies, pornography studies, visual studies, museum studies, and media studies.
erection passing along a line of men in the shower ‘with the domino effect [sic] of a Busby Berkeley routine’ – the narrator’s tone remains, in keeping with his personality, resolutely Apollonian.32 Lanchester disavows The Swimming-Pool Library’s potential for generating arousal because of the book’s style and address. That is to say, the straight reviewer can discount the novel’s gay pornographic power by reference to its amused, ironic and unwavering narrative voice, its ‘Apollonian’ decorum. This last is a taming of the excess that sex itself represents in the novel
collision of two similar, yet distinct shades of gray-green. That I emerge from my encounters with Majoli’s ‘Rubbermen’ less certain of the boundaries of my own desires is, for me, a mark of their success. When I visit Majoli again, years later, we are in her studio looking at new work: large woodblock prints of famous, mononymous, gay porn models named Roger and Ted. On the floor and on large worktables are piles of gay pornographic magazines: Blueboy and Inches. The years of the issues Majoli has collected signal a change in the aesthetics of the gay pornographic body
, post-Stonewall era of the 1970s. There was nothing coy, ambiguous or coded about the gay pornography on open display in Him Exclusive, Him International and Him Monthly. Produced by gays for gays, these magazines promoted what they saw as a politically progressive, sex-positive gay identity through a celebration of erotic pleasure, hyper-masculine bodies and frank sexual education. Many self-identifying gay men, in letters to the editor and in submissions to the Williams Committee on Obscenity and Film Censorship, set up in 1977, praised the virtues of such
Hollinghurst departed from Mapplethorpe in significant ways. He admired the playfulness and range of visual allusions that gave Mapplethorpe’s images ‘a period whiff ’ that had a ‘naughtiness about it’. Where Mapplethorpe ‘adduced second-hand imagery to express the excitements of a world which it could not directly present’, Hollinghurst’s fiction does the opposite: it uses second-hand pornographic imagery to present directly an erotic world ordinarily excluded from the literary and artistic canon. The debts to gay pornography in Hollinghurst’s novels have been hiding in
as a gay pornographic film with relatively wide distribution—indicating, perhaps, that Mekas saw Halsted’s film as rising to the level of film art, while Poole’s did not. Even though Mekas ‘Deep fist at the Modern’ makes clear his preference for Praunheim’s film over Halsted’s, he acquiesces that ‘There is something about the first cries, first loves, first journeys abroad, first almost everything—and they are inimitable and they are total and very very real and they sum up once and for all everything that there is on the subject.’28 Mekas gives Halsted
Smile (Dir. Jake West, UK, 1998), more daringly in the gay pornographic fantasies of Love Bites (Dir. Kewin Glover, USA, 1988) or The Vampire of Budapest (Dir. Kristen Bjorn, USA, 1995), and most notoriously in the vampings of the saturnine Marquis de Suede [ sic ] in Roger Earl’s Gayracula (USA, 1983). If these examples of queer appropriation of the Gothic seem all too narrowly ‘gay’, one