Friday, April 30, 2010

Have a Happy Gay May Day! Circa 1971

This 1971 Gay Mayday poster (below) was based on 19th century illustrations of European May Day celebrations.  Only these Washington D.C. May Day series of events were meant to be about protest and unity among gay men and lesbians against the establishment (the unity didn't work out so well) than about springtime flowers and falling in love. 

The labels written on the "Gay Maypole" ribbons connect the era's gay liberation protests to the spring holiday celebration.  Also, across the top of the poster it proclaims Why Don't We Do It In the Road, which was the title of a Beatles' song from the White Album (1968).

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Linking Raw Male Sexuality to Products: Tom Ford

Tom Ford was born August 27, 1961 in Austin, Texas. In the ten years that he ran Gucci /Yves Saint Laurent, Ford understood that raw sex/smut sells because it's primal in all humans.  Sex in its most basic form (for both straight and gay people) centers around mutual attraction, seduction, penetration, and the brief domination of one partner (inside) another.  Find a way to link that raw need with the mass production of merchandise and you just struck gold.

After leaving Gucci, Tom opened a menswear store on Madison Avenue where he sells suits, shirts, shoes, perfume, eyewear, and everything else for the man looking for some more penetration and style  in his life. 

On a personal level, Ford and his partner, journalist Richard Buckley, have been together for over 24 years.  Buckley was the former editor in chief of Vogue Hommes International. Life is's reported that they live in London, Santa Fe and Los Angeles.

This ad (below) was created for the Tom Ford brand of cologne, and obviously was intended to appeal to women (who often buy men's fragrances for their macho penetrator back home) and straight men looking to replace that bottle with their own product between those female legs.

Tom Ford also did a special ad just for Out magazine that was a play on his female snatch cologne ad. For Out, he used a hairy and beefy male ass. It's reported that Ford said "It was meant to be a play on the new fragrance campaign. But there’s a double standard with featuring female nudity and featuring male nudity. When people say to me, ‘Well, you objectify women,’ I say I’m an equal opportunity objectifier. We had a lot of magazines reject the female version of the campaign, so the male version is going to get rejected even more."

Below, that's Tom (snapping the towel) from an Out magazine story

Moving into movie directing, Tom recently released A Single Man. It's a film adaptation of the Christopher Isherwood book, “A Single Man” and it earned great reviews at the Venice Film Festival. The screenplay was written by Tom Ford and David Scearce. The plot centers on a gay man who, after the sudden death of his partner, is determined to persist in his usual routine, which is seen in the span of a single, ordinary day in Southern California. The Times of London’s review said: “It’s no surprise that the feature film directing debut of fashion designer Tom Ford is a thing of heart-stopping beauty. He celebrates the male form with a sensual reverence.”In interviews selling the movie, he was quoted as saying “I don’t think of myself as gay. That doesn’t mean that I’m not gay. I just don’t define myself by my sexuality.”

Some quotes of Tom:

 "Quite honestly, I just don’t think about my sexuality. But maybe this has to do with being a part of the first generation to benefit from all the struggles of the gay men and lesbians that came before us.”

"I think I developed a taste for vodka and cigarettes because my first kiss with a guy was with Ian, and he tasted like vodka and cigarettes back then, I never knew I liked men sexually until Ian came into my life. And he wasn’t just my first male kiss. The first blow job I ever gave anyone was the one I gave to Ian in the back of a cab on the way home from a night at Studio 54 as we made our way down to where he lived on Eighth Street and Fifth Avenue. Of course, it was a Checker cab,”

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

2002 Homoerotic Advertising: Cock in a Bottle. Male Nudity for Yves Saint Laurent M7 Cologne

What the heck happened? Back in 2002, the intended publicity buzz never fully-materialized when upscale fashion magazines ran the first mainstream magazine advertisement featuring a Playgirl-type man posing naked displaying his hairy penis to sell ritzy high-end cologne. 
Perhaps it had more to do with overexposure from all those previously hyped gay-erotic Calvin Klein ads and actual internet male nudity that was already out there, but the public mostly yawned over the news of this smutty ad.  For readers flipping through the pages of these chic magazines, many of those who did more than admire his nice cock wondered what the "M7" signified. 
Yet there was an actual significance related to this pioneering ad...of course, VGMH knows that the driving force behind it had nothing to do with either being artistic or treating men and women equally as sex objects. Instead, the real goal was to be shocking and controversial as a way of getting publicity and attention to sell more pricey cologne. And naked men sell.  The crotch-buldging billboard briefs had finally been removed and what was offered wasn't underwear or even a was cock in a bottle. French Vogue and Artforum International ran the ad.  Gucci, who it's reported had bought the stale Laurent brand was probably thankful that the Associated Press, Reuters, Ad Age, the San Francisco Examiner and others (including Time magazine) wrote stories about the ad.  In that regard, showing dick probably worked to help jump-start the brand again.

The black-and-white nude shot starred former martial arts champion Samuel de Cubber, and the ad was released amid a lot of pre-publicity, before actually being published starting on October 24, 2002.
It was said that openly-gay Tom Ford spotted Cubber on the beach and convinced him to pose nude to sell the stuff in a bottle. Ford later explained that they "... wanted a guy who really looked like a guy" and in particular was struck by the fact that de Cubber reminded him of an ideal of masculine beauty not seen since the 1970's. He added "Perfume is worn on the skin, so why hide the body? [...] The M7 campaign is really pure, it's a very academic nude."

Ford later noted in a press statement that the M7 ad was homage to a 1971 picture of Saint Laurent posing naked (although with his legs crossed) for photographer Jeanloup Sieff.  It was also intended to "remind people of how shocking and provocative the (design) house has always been."

VGMH thinks it was intended to sell product, and in the process earned a place in gay history.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Gay Smut in the Seventies with JACK WRANGLER: Sea Cadets 4, end of series

"Jack Wrangler knew the power of image-making and inspired an entire generation to be comfortable in their own skin and to become the man of their dreams," said film director Jeffrey Schwarz from the documentary "Wrangler: Anatomy of an Icon,"

"I was never ashamed of anything I did," Jack once said in an interview, long after his smut career was over.


Monday, April 26, 2010

Gay Smut in the Seventies with JACK WRANGLER: Sea Cadets 3

Jack Wrangler was one handsome and muscular guy, who looked and acted a lot like the Marlboro Man. A generation of gay men, tired of negative and sissy stereotypes, were able to embrace a new hyper masculine ideal that Jack and Al Parker offered. These guys were hot and grabbed life instead of taking what was given to them. Jack made 85 films and helped revolutionize 1970's gay porn and how men viewed themselves.  He was 100% self confident, intelligent ,masculine, and connected with his audience in a totally new way.


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Gay Smut in the Seventies with JACK WRANGLER: Sea Cadets 2

Jack Wrangler worked during a time when gay porn included both movies and loops, and it was common for loops to be spliced together to make a movie, sometimes even years after the original loop issue release.   Here, the same images from "Sea Cadets in Action" are also used in "Naval Daze."  Keeping all that in mind, here's some movies that Jack did in the 1970's:

New York Construction Co. (1970)
Junior Cadets (1970, re-released as Jr. Cadets 1981)
Eyes Of A Stranger (a.k.a. Eyes Of A Gay Stranger, 1970)
High Riders (1974)
Navy Blue (1975)
Semen First Class (1976)
Kansas City Trucking Co. (1976)
Sex Magic (1977)
Dynamite (1978)
Surf & Turf (1978)
Trial Run/Sea Cadets (1976 or 1978 loop later included as Sea Cadets 1980)
Jocks (a.k.a. Jack Wrangler Jocks, 1979)
Gemini (1979)
Killing Me Gently (1979, re-released as Killing Me Softly,1982 )
Misbehavin' (1979)
Summer in Heat (1979)
Below: Sea Cadets

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Gay Smut in the Seventies with JACK WRANGLER: Sea Cadets 1

Both the Nova movie and this magazine arrived in mailboxes and smut shops in 1978 or later, depending upon the reference source.  VGMH suspects it was probably an early 1970's loop, and thus may be part of several loops put together into one product, hence multiple dates for release and re-release.  If anyone has anymore information on this high seas sex sailing, please share!  In any case, it's good vintage gay smut, late 1970's style.
As can be seen below, this movie/magazine included lots of salty sailors along with Jack

Below, Jack looks happy

Below, that look on Jack's face is like he's getting...oh yea, he is

Friday, April 23, 2010

Gay Smut in the Seventies with JACK WRANGLER: Heavy Equipment and Designer Dildos

1977's Heavy Equipment

This movie was the first porn to be filmed in wow-o-matic 3-D!  Of course there are plenty of shots of boners poking through the "third dimension" and into the audience's faces.   There will be a whole series on this movie's historic place in gay cinema later this coming summer...This moment belongs to one of its stars, Jack Wrangler.  He appeared in Heavy Equipment along with real-life surfing twins the Christy brothers.  The movie also included VGMH's other Male Sex Icon, Al Parker.

The Begining of Signature Dildos
Jack Wrangler and Al Parker were both pioneers when it came to porn star branding.  Jack is often reported to have been the first to market his own line of dildos molded from his own 9-inch cock.  They were an instant success and were all signed by Jack himself.  Not cheap when they were first advertised at $100 it's reported that a new one in its original packaging can sell for as much as $900 (or approx. $100 per inch).

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Gay Smut in the Seventies with JACK WRANGLER

The Early Years

He was born in Beverly Hills, California.  The son of producer Robert Stillman (among whose credits were the TV series Rawhide and Bonanza). and a former dancer in Busby Berkely musicals.  Before he changed his name, he was John Robert Stillman.  John, being part of a Hollywood family, had the right connections and so he starred at the tender age of nine with Eleanor Powell in the television series "Faith of Our Children," a religious family show which ran for three years and won five Emmy awards.

John said that he first became aware that he was gay during his teen years . He was the youngest of three children and the only boy. By his own accounts, John seems to have had less than a great relationship with his father, who wanted a more masculine son. John's attempts to win his father's love through external achievements and show business success had mediocre results at best, as he frankly recalled the hurt of always being seen as a "sissy" in his fathers eyes.

From a promising beginning in Hollywood, after college, John found some early work on the stage and as a model and dancer (as well as bit parts on television shows like The Mod Squad and Medical Center).  But John began spiraling downward in the mainstream entertainment industry. It was then that he reached a turning point...he came to understand that he could never be himself and also meet the expectations of his father.  John became defiant and took out on his own, to make his own life. For a time, this included being a gogo dancer in a strip club.  From dancing, he gets offered a part in a play (as an ex-prostitute from Arkansas who goes to California).  The play includes nudity, and Jack is noticed by producers for Magnum Films who cast him in 1970's "Eyes of A Stranger".

Suddenly a second turning point arrives for the young misfit. Dancing and plays are one thing, but John came from a movie family and understood that film lasts a long time and are seen by a whole lot more people. It was then that John Stillman, realizing the risks working in porn might have on the rest of his life, adopted the name he had first used when stripping...with "Wrangler" coming from the label of his flannel shirt, and so the amazing career of Jack Wrangler began.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Gay Smut in the Seventies with Jack Wrangler: Hot Rods Magazine

In Jeffrey Schwarz's award-winning documentary, Wrangler: Anatomy of an Icon, Jack discussed growing up feeling scrawny and effeminate, as he painfully described how he decided to transform himself into his own ideal model of what a sexy man should be...thus creating the persona and body of porn star Jack Wrangler.  As it turned out, a LOT of other men had the same ideal, and made Wrangler a sought-after icon of raw male sexual masculinity.   Tomorrow's post will go into greater detail on the amazing early years of this performer, but today's post is more about gaining some perspective on Jack's "on-screen assets" during the gay-rights explosive era that was the mid-to-late 1970's America. 

The breakthrough statement that Jack Wrangler and Al Parker made in the 1970's was that they were masculine, blue-collar-type males in everything about their lives.  They wore the flannel shirts and steel-toe work boots.  Look at them wrong and they could kick your ass.  Like many of their straight counterparts, these guys were also horn dogs who would take advantage of any opportunity to enjoy sex...  they just happened to like doing it with other men, and assumed that given the right situation, they could talk the pants off most any man out there.  And they often did.

Hot Rods has several meanings in this popular 1970's gay smut series.  While Jack drives around showing off his vintage Model A truck, he picks up a long-haired hitchhiker and lets him admire both his cool ride and the other hot rod between his legs.  Eventually, it's Jack that gets the stick shift.